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West J Med. 1993 November; 159(5): 579–585.
PMCID: PMC1022348

Androgen deficiency and aging in men.


Androgen levels decrease with age in men. Androgen deficiency in men older than 65 years leads to asthenia, a decrease in muscle mass, osteoporosis, and a decrease in sexual activity. Androgen deficiency has been reported to cause changes in mood and cognitive function. The combination of these factors results in impaired quality of life in older men. Androgen replacement therapy in hypogonadal men increases bone and muscle mass, enhances muscle and cardiovascular function, and improves sexual function and general well-being; whether elderly men experience benefits of androgen replacement is not known. These benefits have to be weighed against the possible adverse effects of prostate and cardiovascular diseases. Careful long-term studies are needed to assess the risk-to-reward ratios of androgen or other hormone replacement therapy before treatment strategies similar to estrogen therapy for postmenopausal women are implemented.

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