Testosterone Deficiency To Have Big Public Health Impact

Over a 20-year period in the United States, testosterone (T) deficiency will be involved in the development of about 1.3 million new cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a recent online report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. It also will be a factor in the etiology of 1.1 million new cases of diabetes mellitus (DM) and more than 600,000 osteoporosis-related fractures (ORFs).

Daniel J. Moskovic, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and colleagues used six national databases and large cross-sectional studies to ascertain the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of sequellae associated with T deficiency, namely CVD, DM, and ORFs. They collected information on men aged 45-74 years. The investigators assumed a 13.4% prevalence of T deficiency, which they defined as a T level below 300 ng/dL.

Dr. Moskovic's team projected that in the first year of a 20-year period, the attributed cost burden of these diseases was about $8.4 billion. Over the 20-year period, T deficiency may be directly responsible for about $190 billion to $525 billion in inflation-adjusted U.S. healthcare expenditures.

“While many uncertainties with regard to T deficiency remain unresolved, the projections presented herein highlight the potential magnitude of T deficiency as a modifiable risk factor for cardiometabolic wellness,” the authors wrote. “Therefore, resource allocation to investigate the role of androgens and general lifestyle modification in men's general health may be a justifiable investment with the potential to generate significant financial and quality-of-life returns.”

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