November 27, 2007
Higher Testosterone Men Face Lower All Cause Mortality
If your high testosterone doesn't get you killed from recklessness it probably makes you live longer.
CAMBRIDGE, England, Nov. 26 -- In otherwise healthy men, low testosterone is associated with an increased risk of death from any cause as well as from cardiovascular causes and cancer, researchers here said.
For all-cause mortality, each increase of six nanomoles of testosterone per liter of serum was associated with about a 14% drop in the risk of death, Kay-Tee Khaw, M.B.B.Ch., of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, and colleagues reported in the Dec. 4 issue of Circulation.
These results come from a study on over eleven thousand men enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk England. If you have low testosterone you especially ought to try to reduce other risk factors.
Lead author Dr Kay-Tee Khaw (University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, UK) commented to heartwire: "This is the largest study of testosterone levels ever conducted. We don't know whether the association shown between higher levels of testosterone and lower mortality is causal or just a marker of something else, but regardless of this, it appears that low testosterone levels do identify a group at increased risk of cardiovascular death who could benefit from more aggressive treatments in terms of cholesterol and blood-pressure lowering."
Curiously, the men with higher testosterone did not appear to have higher risk of prostate cancer.
This result is consistent with some other recent studies on this topic. See my posts Low Testosterone Men Die More Rapidly and Low Testosterone Men Die Sooner.
Does this mean that boosting your testosterone levels artificially will confer the benefit, or is the high testosterone level just an indicator of something else that's going on, and not the actual cause?
No -- regardless of their cowardly blathering because they are afraid of saying so -- it IS the high DHEA/testo/androgen axis that is conferring protection. Whenever folks avoid making the conclusions that are massively present in the sum total of research it is because of some political reason. I have no idea what reason that may be here, but the preponderance of the clinical evidence is that bioidentical hormone replacement in both of the sexes confers both vascular and cancer protection. It's just until someone does a 10,000 patient, 10-year prospective trial, the powers that be can dodge the issue.
And the reason that high testo isn't inducing prostate cancer is because testosterone does NOT cause prostate cancer. It is the double-high DHT, estradiol producers that are at risk. And both of those pathways can be short-circuited by drugs. In fact, if your are 45 or older, you should be looking to be placed on those type of drugs to drop you overall prostate cancer risk if you test high on DHT or estradiol.
My guess is that the testosterone is conferring the benefit. It could be the low T people are all low in T because of some disease factor. But I think that unlikely. So use of supplemental testosterone is a tempting idea. I know a few older guys in their 50s on T and they think it is great.
So do you favor finasteride or dutasteride?
(1) Testosterone should be increased by mild DHEA therapy, and titrated for effect.
(2) Dutasteride -- it is more potent in its DHT suppression effect
Finally, something positive about about going bald!
Sadly, it is the same DHT not testosterone that makes you go bald and increases prostate cancer risk.
If this is the case why do the Japanese live longest?