The role of testosterone in men's health: is it time for a new approach?

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International urology and nephrology


PURPOSE: Because of many unanswered questions regarding men's health, a literature review was performed to better understand the role of testosterone and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in the management of hypogonadism and aging related prostate gland diseases (ARPGD) including prostate cancer (PCa) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

METHODS: The PubMed database was screened for pertinent peer reviewed articles published during the last four decades that culminated in the positions and recommendations in this paper.

RESULTS: Hypogonadism seriously impacts men's health, and the diagnosis remains controversial. The incidence of ARPGD is projected to increase worldwide and treatment still has significant limitations. There is compelling evidence that lower, not higher, testosterone levels trigger the development of PCa and BPH through androgen receptor over-expression. TRT was found to be safe and effective in treating hypogonadism including in PCa survivors and those harboring PCa. There is also evidence that TRT might reduce the incidence and prevalence of ARPGD.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: This review synthesizes a wide-ranging compendium of basic science and clinical research that strongly encourages altering the present approach to diagnosing and treating men with hypogonadism and ARPGD. These findings underscore the importance of avoiding significant testosterone decline and support the use of TRT. Ten recommendations are offered as a framework for the way forward. It is now time for clinicians, payers, researchers, funding agencies, professional associations, and patient advocacy groups to embrace this new paradigm to increase longevity and improve the quality of life.


Online ahead of print.





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