Testosterone is the primary hormone needed in male libido, but it has also been linked to other health problems. Some studies have suggested that low testosterone in males is linked to depression and even diabetes.
A more recent study has suggested that low testosterone may be tied to chronic disease. Lead author of the study Mark Peterson explained, “Men should be concerned about declining total testosterone, even if it has not reached a level to warrant a clinical diagnosis (<300 ng/dL [10.4 nmol/L]). A lot of men may not be aware of the risk factors for testosterone deficiency because of their current lifestyle. And more importantly, that declining levels could be contributing to a silent decline in overall health and increased risk for chronic disease.”
“If we look at data for men from a population level, it has become evident over time that chronic disease is on the rise in older males. But we’re also finding that a consequence of being obese and physically inactive is that men are seeing declines in testosterone even at younger ages,” Peterson added.
The researchers explored the link between testosterone, age, and chronic disease. Previous studies have pointed to the fact that low testosterone increases with age and that it has been linked to obesity-related chronic disease.
The researchers looked at men with hypogonadism — a disease where the sex glands produce little to no sex hormones. The participants completed information on demographics, chronic disease diagnosis, blood samples were taken to determine total testosterone levels, grip strength, and lab results for cardiometabolic disease risk factors.
The team then explored the prevalence of chronic disease including diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and six others. The results indicated that total low testosterone was associated with having two or more chronic diseases among all age groups with the highest prevalence among the youngest and oldest of men with testosterone deficiencies.
More research is required to determine and better understand the link between testosterone levels and chronic disease.
If you’re worried about your levels, you can always speak to your doctor about your options. It is also a wise idea to try and reduce your risk of chronic disease by adhering to a healthy lifestyle.