Profound Hypogonadism Linked to Anabolic Steroid Use

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Prior use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is common among young men seeking treatment for symptomatic hypogonadism, according to study findings reported online in The Journal of Urology. The study also found that anabolic steroid-induced hypogonadism is the most common etiology of profound hypogonadism

Larry Lipshultz, MD, and colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, reviewed data on 6,033 patients seeking treatment for hypogonadism from 2005 to 2010. They identified profound hypogonadism (testosterone level of 50 ng/dL or less) in 97 patients (1.6%).

The most common etiology was prior use to AAS, which the investigators identified in 42 (43%) patients. Dr. Lipshultz's group conducted a follow-up anonymous survey of their current hypogonadal patient population (383 patients with a mean age of 49 years) undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. Of these patients, 80 (20.9%) had prior AAS exposure. These men had a mean age of 40 years. Hypogonadal men younger than 50 years were more than 10 times as likely as men older than 50 to have prior AAS exposure.

“These findings suggest a necessary refocused approach in the evaluation and treatment paradigms of young hypogonadal men,” the authors concluded.

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