More than half of men with low levels of testosterone have depression or depressive symptoms, a rate much higher than among the general population, researchers said in a new study.
George Washington University researchers reviewed medical records and surveys for 200 men between the ages of 20 and 77, and found 56% of those men had depression and/or depressive symptoms. About a quarter of the subjects were taking antidepressants, and the participants in the study had high rates of obesity and low rates of physical activity.
“In an era where more and more men are being tested for ‘Low T’ — or lower levels of testosterone — there is very little data about the men who have borderline low testosterone levels,” said Michael Irwig, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Andrology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in a press release. “We felt it important to explore the mental health of this population.”
Among participants who were either depressed or had depressive symptoms, the most common symptoms reported included erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, fewer morning erections, low energy, and sleep disturbances.
While more research is needed in this area of study, the researchers concluded that clinicians should consider screening for depression and depressive symptoms, overweight and unhealthy lifestyle factors in men who are referred for tertiary care for potential hypogonadism.
“High Rates of Depression and Depressive Symptoms Among Men Referred for Borderline Testosterone Levels” is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12937/full.
This article is courtesy of United Press International.