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Low testosterone hits 40% of men over 45

Forty per cent of men over age 45 suffer from testosterone deficiency but few are actually treated for it, says a Canadian doctor who reviewed guidelines for the condition.

Less than 5 per cent are diagnosed and treated for the condition, Dr. Richard Bebb, a endocrinologist in Vancouver, wrote in the November issue of the B.C. Medical Journal.

Hypogonadism is the formal term for male menopause or andropause, signaled by low testosterone.

After the age of 30, testosterone levels decrease about 1.5 per cent a year.

Symptoms of hypogonadism include:

  • Mood changes such as irritability or increased sadness.
  • Reduced libido.
  • Low energy.
  • Fatigue.
  • Decreased muscle bulk.
  • Decreased muscle strength.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Decreased ability to concentrate on tasks.
  • Lack of morning erections or less rigid erections.
  • Decreased volume of ejaculate.
  • Infertility.

Physical signs can include more central body fat, osteoporotic fractures, and height loss, Bebb noted.

Confirming a diagnosis involves symptoms of androgen deficiency, unequivocal blood test results of low testosterone levels and a positive response to testosterone replacement therapy, he said.

Low testosterone hits 40% of men over 45

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