Rate of Testosterone Testing on the Rise

Increased likelihood of testing in men with comorbidity associated with hypogonadism.
Increased likelihood of testing in men with comorbidity associated with hypogonadism.

There has been a recent increase in the rate of testosterone testing, with more testing seen in men with comorbidities associated with hypogonadism, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Rena D. Malik, M.D., from the University of Chicago Medical Center, and colleagues examined the testing behaviors of practitioners and characteristics of men who are undergoing testing for low testosterone.

Men aged 18 to 85 years were considered tested if they had undergone serum testosterone level testing for any purpose from 2009 to 2012.

The researchers found that 3.2 percent of the 321,674 men underwent testing with a serum total testosterone. During the study period the frequency of testing increased from 2.5 to 3.6 percent (P < 0.001).

Tested men were significantly more likely to be Caucasian (P < 0.001) and have increased body mass index, in multivariable analysis, and they were significantly more likely to have comorbid conditions such as decreased libido, infertility, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Only 9 percent of tested men underwent testing between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m.

"The rate of testosterone testing is increasing with most testing practices directed toward a subset of men with comorbidities that are associated with hypogonadism," the authors write.

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