New Tool May Aid Screening for Low Testosterone

Weight, frequent exercise, and diabetes are among the risk factors for hypogonadism.
Weight, frequent exercise, and diabetes are among the risk factors for hypogonadism.

Researchers have developed a questionnaire that could be an effective tool in screening men for low testosterone, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Men's Health (2014;11:28-37).

Developed by Nelson Stone, MD, of the Department of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, and collaborators, the male androgen deficiency syndrome (MADS) questionnaire includes criteria from the American Urological Association symptom score questionnaire, the sexual health inventory for men, and hypogonadism assessment.

“The goal of this investigation was to develop a simplified hypogonadal screening questionnaire that would be quick and easy for patients to complete and that would guide physicians,” the authors stated.

A total of 5,071 men from 44 centers were recruited through nationwide promotion of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week in September of 2010 and 2011. Among the participants, 1,950 were identified as having testosterone deficiency. Mean testosterone levels were 378.6 ng/dL.

The researchers found a direct association between survey results and men who were likely to have low testosterone. For example, men who exercised more than 5 times a week had higher testosterone levels than those who did not exercise, and overweight men had lower testosterone compared with men in a normal weight range.

On regression analysis, overweight, adult-onset diabetes, race, heart disease, and exercise frequency remained significant risk factors for low testosterone.

“Further studies must be completed to demonstrate the validity, sensitivity, and specificity of this questionnaire, but we believe that it will be beneficial in identification of those men at greatest risk,” the authors concluded.

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