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Keywords:

  • Testosterone;
  • Prevalence;
  • Hypogonadism;
  • Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome

Abstract

Introduction

Testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS) is a prevalent disease of the aging male with much confusion to its associated presentation, diagnosis, and comorbidities.

Aim

We investigated the overall prevalence of TDS and its putative symptoms and associated diseases in a nationwide study on participants recruited from routine checkup.

Methods

One thousand eight hundred seventy-five participants seeking biennial health checkup were enrolled from a nationwide distribution of randomly selected registry of primary clinics. Putative symptoms and comorbidities were assessed for serum testosterone-dependent prevalence change, independent of age. The identified symptoms were then assessed by multivariate backward stepwise binominal regression to determine the optimal reference level of testosterone and the strength of the associated comorbidities.

Main Outcome Measures

TDS was assessed by serum testosterone, the Aging Males' Symptom scale, and the Androgen Deficiency in Aging Male questionnaire. Patient body habitus measurements and history of associated comorbidities were also described. The dependent variables included the age-specific prevalence of decreased testosterone and the probability of TDS-specific symptoms.

Results

Grossly 10.2% of the participants fell into the criteria for TDS. Testosterone was highly age dependent, and most putative symptoms of TDS showed significant age dependence but was not affected by serum testosterone levels. However, the symptoms of decreased libido and erectile dysfunction, and comorbidities such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obesity showed relevant dependence on serum testosterone levels as well as age above 50 years of age. Furthermore, these symptoms were also affected at different serum testosterone thresholds. Decreased libido increased significantly at serum testosterone levels of 550 ng/dL (odds ratio [OR] = 1.295, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.047–1.601), and erectile dysfunction was affected by serum testosterone levels at 250 ng/dL (OR = 1.369, 95% CI = 1.005–1.866).

Conclusions

Most symptoms and diseases thought to be associated with TDS are primarily age dependent. Few sexual symptoms and diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity show testosterone dependence only at older ages. Moon DG, Kim JW, Kim JJ, Park KS, Park JK, Park NC, Kim SW, and Lee SW. Prevalence of symptoms and associated comorbidities of testosterone deficiency syndrome in the Korean general population. J Sex Med 2014;11:583–594.