A Critical View on “Individual Health Services on Demand” (IGeL): Testosterone Serum Levels in Healthy Men as Procedures of Anti-Aging Medicine

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2009.0335

german translation / full article

Martin Beyer, Antje Erler, Kristina Saal, Marcial Velasco Garrido

Keywords: testosterone anti-aging hormone therapy screening individual health services on demand (IGeL)

Background: A gradual decline in the occurrence of circulating hormones such as DHEA or testosterone from the age of 30 onwards is well documented and appears to be part of the natural aging process. As part of a so-called anti-aging check it is possible for otherwise healthy men to have their testosterone levels determined and to initiate appropriate preventive measures (e. g. testosterone delivery). The question is whether this process makes sense for healthy men from a health point of view, and more importantly whether prescription of testosterone to healthy men is justifiable.

Methods: A thorough literature search was carried out with the aim of identifying relevant systematic reviews and current randomized controlled studies on this subject.

Results: No studies that have investigated the benefit of determining hormone levels in healthy men were found. Various positive effects of the treatment of healthy aging men with testosterone are described (e. g. reduction in body fat, increase in muscle mass, improved sexual function), but their clinical relevance is questionable. Clinical and patient outcomes have been as inadequately investigated as the long-term effects of testosterone delivery to healthy men.

Conclusions: Current research provides no indication that it makes sense for healthy men to have their testosterone levels checked.

(State: 01.06.2011)

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