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4 Jun 2013

Testosterone therapy uptake increases threefold

Researchers believe that marketing campaigns have encouraged more men to undergo testosterone therapy.

The number of men taking advantage of testosterone therapy increased threefold in the ten years to 2011, from just 0.81 to 2.91 per cent prevalence.

Uptake was found to be higher in the over-60 demographic, with an increased risk of hormonal imbalances resulting in 3.75 per cent of these men undergoing treatment.

Half of the males involved in the study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, had testosterone therapy following a hypogonadism diagnosis.

In men, this condition is characterised by lower functionality in the testes, which results in decreased sex hormone synthesis.

Participants in the population-based study were taking a prescription androgen product, a synthetic compound which mimics the effects of the hormone to stimulate male characteristics.

However, findings, which were published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, indicate that not all patients' testosterone levels were measured prior to prescription.

Lead author Dr Jacques Baillargeon explained that "direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns" and "low-testosterone centres" are encouraging more men to undergo therapy.

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