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Low Testosterone and Early Death – What You Need to Know

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - December 4, 2015

If a report stated that men with Low T had a greater chance of dying earlier in life, fear and panic might grip populations across the globe, but there is information that must be provided to help males understand how reports such as these really do affect them in their daily lives. In fact, two different studies looked at low testosterone and early death and found interesting correlations.

Low Testosterone and Early Death

  • The British Study

Between the years of 1993 and 1997, roughly 12,000 British men between the ages of 40 and 79 were studied. 800 plus men died by 2003, and after adjustments had been made for particular death risk factors such as smoking, alcohol usage, diabetes, physical activity, age, weight, high blood pressure, social class, and education, it was found that there was an actual low testosterone death risk. The men with lower testosterone levels had a greater risk of dying from any type of cause, but in particular, the risk factor associated with cardiovascular disease was exceptionally high.

One interesting caveat of this study was that no evidence of increased cancer risks was found in men with higher testosterone level.

  • The Seattle Study

This study was performed by researchers from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, in association with the University of Washington at Seattle, and evaluated male veterans for a low testosterone early death risk factor. 858 males over 40 years of age, and without prostate cancer, were studied and received testosterone level checks a minimum of two times between the years of 1994 and 1999. The longest stretch between testing was less than two years, and the average time that the men studied was 4.3 years, although some participated for the full eight years.

Here is the initial breakdown of the participants:

  • 19% had low testosterone levels
  • 28% had varying levels between low and normal
  • 52.7% had normal testosterone levels

At the study’s conclusion, exclusions were made for those who died within the first year, as well as for specific age, illness, body mass index, and other medical factors. The findings showed that the low testosterone risk of death was at an 88% increased risk for those with Low T as opposed to those whose levels were in the normal range. After eliminating the men who died during the first year of follow-up to account for testosterone decline that can follow critical illness, surgery, or trauma, the rate of mortality was still 68%.

More specifically, here is the breakdown of the men who died during the study:

  • 34.9% of those with low testosterone levels
  • 24.6% of those with varying levels
  • 20% of those with normal levels

No matter how you look at it, the correlation is clear – there is a concern between low testosterone and early death.

Should You Be Concerned about Low Testosterone and Early Death?

The results of these two studies are scary, indeed, and must be taken seriously by researchers looking to find out if it is true that low testosterone leads to early death in men. Before there is any widespread panic, there are a number of other factors to take into consideration. Not every man with Low T needs to worry about this risk to mortality.

First of all, it is normal for testosterone levels to decrease with each passing year once a man reaches his early thirties. The average male will see his testosterone production decline by approximately one to one and a half percent each year. It is only when symptoms start to arrive that doctors will typically consider treating Low T.

Andropause is the name given to the male version of menopause. It is characterized by the following symptoms of low testosterone:

  • Weight gain
  • Memory loss
  • Low libido
  • Declining muscle mass
  • High cholesterol
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Reduced bone density
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased energy and stamina
  • Poor mental focus and drive
  • Insulin resistance

Part of the problem seen when Low T is present is that a man will become tired and start to decrease his normal physical exertion. This may include ending workouts at the gym, stopping golf, tennis, or basketball, and even forgoing sex as problems with decreased desire and erections become prevalent. Fun times with family and friends are often pushed aside in favor of lying on the couch with a TV remote in hand.

When examining the question can low testosterone cause early death, these changes, and the symptoms mentioned above can all help to contribute a decline in overall health. High cholesterol and lack of exercise can easily increase the risk of cardiac problems. Reduced bone density can lead to osteoporosis and life-threatening fractures. Weight gain taxes the bones, muscles, and heart. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

There are serious issues that some men with Low T contend with on a regular basis. Decreased testosterone levels are common with men diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, and its related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, vascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. These are all medical concerns that can also influence early death.

What Can Be Done about Low Testosterone and Early Death?

Perhaps the most important thing for men today is to talk about their problems or symptoms. Andropause and Low T should not be discussed in hushed whispers anymore. These are serious issues to bring up with a doctor. If more men spoke openly about these concerns, they might be surprised at how many others are dealing with the same problems, as well as get information from others that might be helpful in their quest for answers.

For men who are diagnosed with low testosterone, premature death is a haunting fear. All too often, doctors treat the symptoms but not the cause. For example:

  • A man dealing with erectile dysfunction may be given Viagra to increase blood flow to the penis for a short period of time.
  • Antidepressants are often prescribed to counteract depression.
  • High cholesterol blood test results may result in a prescription for statins.

Doctors may offer medications for urinary problems, blood sugar, prostate enlargement, and other conditions associated with Low T, but not treat the problem itself! Therein lies the difference with treatment offered by hormone replacement specialists. In order to reduce the low testosterone risk of death, the decline in testosterone secretion is what must be addressed.

Nothing can be done until a male understands and notices the changes that are taking place in his body. It is not enough to say that one’s workouts are not producing the desired results anymore, or that focus and memory are not as sharp and clear as in the past. Pushing these changes aside and attributing them to getting older is not the answer.

In order to reduce the risk of early death from low testosterone, the proper treatment must be provided. This is when turning to the right specialist can provide a different path for the future.

The Positive Benefits of Balancing Testosterone Levels

Understanding that there is a possibility that low testosterone leads to early death is the first step. Assessing whether or not you may be dealing with this condition is the second, and seeking testing and treatment come next. There are many positive benefits of balancing testosterone levels once they have started to decline.

An excellent starting place is to take our Testosterone Quiz for Men to see if you may be dealing with changes associated with this decline. In answering these questions, you will see how life can be when testosterone levels are at their peak, as opposed to what is occurring in men dealing with Low T.

The majority of males over 30 who are diagnosed with Low T who receive treatment find the following positive changes in their lives:

  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Improved lean muscle mass
  • Loss of body fat
  • Stronger bones
  • Sharper cognitive functions, memory, and focus
  • Improved libido
  • Better erectile functioning
  • Hair regrowth
  • Lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Increased red blood cell production
  • Improved glucose sensitivity
  • Better mood and outlook
  • Increased cardiac output and capacity

While the ultimate goal is to avoid early death from low testosterone, there is no guarantee in life that there is anything that can lead to life extension or immortality. The actual objective is to provide the body with what it needs to function at its best at all times. For someone dealing with Low T, that means increasing the level of testosterone available for the body’s use.

National HRT is a hormone replacement therapy clinic that aids men and women in their quest for a better future – one free of the adverse changes and symptoms that can make life unbearable or unpleasant when the body’s hormone production no longer keeps up with what is needed for proper functioning to occur. We offer diagnostic testing throughout the US, and consultations are provided free of charge. Affordable treatment options are provided to those diagnosed with Low T or other types of hormonal decline or imbalance.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on December 4, 2015

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.