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Keywords:

  • Testosterone;
  • obesity;
  • waist circumference;
  • weight loss

Summary

What is already known about this subject

  • Hypogonadism is associated with increased fat mass and reduced muscle mass, which contributes to obesity and health risks, such as cardiovascular disease.
  • Testosterone treatment of hypogonadal men improves muscle mass and reduces fat mass; however, many of these studies are of short duration.
  • Thus, the long-term effects of testosterone on body anthropometry are not known.

What this study adds

  • Long-term testosterone treatment of hypogonadal men, up to 5 years duration, produced marked and significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index.

Hypogonadism contributes to reduced muscle mass and increased adiposity. Testosterone treatment ameliorates loss of muscle mass and reduces fat accumulation associated with hypogonadism. In this study, we evaluated the long-term effects of normalizing testosterone (T) levels in hypogonadal men on anthropometric parameters. Open-label, single-center, cumulative, prospective registry study of 261 men (32–84 years, mean 59.5 ± 8.4 years, with T levels ≤12 nmol L−1 [mean: 7.7 ± 2.1]). Among the 261 men on T treatment, we followed up on 260 men for at least 2 years, 237 for 3 years, 195 for 4 years and 163 for at least 5 years. Subjects received parenteral T undecanoate 1000 mg every 12 weeks after an initial interval of 6 weeks. Body weight (BW), waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) were measured at baseline and yearly after treatment with T. BW decreased from 100.1 ± 14.0 kg to 92.5 ± 11.2 kg and WC was reduced from 107.7 ± 10.0 cm to 99.0 ± 9.1 cm. BMI declined from 31.7 ± 4.4 m kg−2 to 29.4 ± 3.4 m kg−2. All parameters examined were statistically significant vs. baseline and vs. the previous year over 5 years, indicating a continuous weight loss (WL) over the full observation period. The mean per cent WL was 3.2 ± 0.3% after 1 year, 5.6 ± 0.3%, after 2 years, 7.5 ± 0.3% after 3 years, 9.1 ± 0.3% after 4 years and 10.5 ± 0.4% after 5 years. The data obtained from this uncontrolled, observational, registry study suggest that raising serum T to normal physiological levels in hypogonadal men produces consistent loss in BW, WC and BMI. These marked improvements were progressive over the 5 years of the study.