Testosterone and Aging

Testosterone and Aging: Clinical Research Directions Illustrated Edition

Testosterone is frequently associated with virility, strength, and the macho male physique in popular culture. Considered an “antiaging tonic” by some, testosterone’s reputation and increased use by men of all ages in the United States have outpaced scientific evidence regarding its potential benefits and risks. There has been growing concern about an increase in the use of testosterone by middle-aged and older men, as well as a dearth of scientific data on the effect testosterone may have on aging males.

The majority of studies examining testosterone replacement therapy in older men have been brief in duration, involved a small number of participants, and frequently lacked adequate controls.

I weigh potential future research directions, examine the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, assess the potential public health impact of such therapy in the United States, and considers ethical issues surrounding clinical trial conduct. Testosterone therapy continues to be an attractive option for many men, despite widespread speculation about its potential benefits.