Low testosterone risk linked to genetic makeup in men

By: Devon Andre | Men's Health | Tuesday, May 03, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Low testosterone risk linked to genetic makeup in menLow testosterone risk linked to genetic makeup in men. Testosterone is primarily a male hormone, which is attributed to important physiological functions in men. Low testosterone levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular events, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and sarcopenia. Testosterone naturally decreases with age, but this mechanism is still not fully understood.

The researchers looked at data from 14,429 Caucasian men and discovered genetic variants at the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) gene and on the X chromosome associated with an increased risk of low testosterone.

Lead author Professor Claes Ohlsson from the University of Gothenburg said, “This is the first large-scale study to identify specific genes for low serum testosterone concentrations. It is very interesting that the genetic contribution of the identified genetic variants to testosterone concentrations is substantial.”

Co-senior author Dr. Robin Haring from the University of Greifswald concluded, “The reported associations may now be used in order to better understand the functional background of recently identified disease associations related to low testosterone concentrations in men.”

Other causes of low testosterone in men

Aside from genetic variants, there are other reasons for the testosterone decline in men. Medical conditions is a primary reason why men’s testosterone levels decrease, and examples include autoimmune diseases, chronic liver or kidney disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, genetic causes, heart failure, HIV/AIDS, infections, injury of the testicles, metabolic disorders, obesity, prolactinoma in the pituitary gland, testicular cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Other causes of low testosterone include alcohol consumption, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, and opioids.

In some cases, the cause of low testosterone remains unknown or there may be more than one reason for a man to experience the drop in testosterone levels.

If you’re concerned with your testosterone levels and you’re an aging male, speak to your doctor about available treatments to see which one is right for you.

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