The craze for “low T” seems to be declining, with fewer men in the United States resorting to testosterone as a way to prevent aging and sexual abstinence.
There was a sharp decline in testosterone between 2013 and 2016, in line with public warnings that hormone therapy could increase the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer in men.
“We found that there was a very significant decrease in a short period of time,” said the leader of the research team, Jack Baillargeon. Professor of preventive medicine and community health at the University of Texas School of Medicine in Galveston.
The researchers found that the number of men receiving testosterone was reduced by 48 percent between 2013 and 2016, after a six-fold increase in prescriptions during the previous decade.
The results also showed a 62 percent decrease in new testosterone users.
“This is certainly a good thing,” said Dr. Shalinder Bhasin, an endocrinologist at Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“It is a hopeful sign that scientific education efforts are important and that people are interested in both science and information from clinical studies conducted by scientists,” he said. The Committee is chaired by the Endocrine Society’s Testosterone Society.
In reviewing the health insurance records of nearly 10 million men aged 30 or older, the researchers found that total testosterone use increased from 0.52 percent of men in 2002 to 3.2 percent in 2013.
This indicates other data showing that testosterone sales increased from $ 70 million in 2000 to almost $ 2.8 billion in 2013. Testosterone therapy usually costs between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars a year.
Bhasin believes that the increase was driven by ads aimed at increasing the age of babies who promote testosterone therapy as a way to maintain vitality and sexual ingenuity.
“From being a drug that was not a large company interested in joining the $ 1 billion club in a short period of time, it was a great testament to both the demographic trends and the power of direct consumer advertising,” he said.
But 2013 was the year in which the wave of “T baja” was crowned. After that, the popularity of testosterone dropped sharply, falling to less than 2 percent of men in 2016.
The decrease in the total use of testosterone seemed to be linked to a consultation of the US Food and Drug Administration. UU In 2013, the researchers said.
The US Food and Drug Administration UU He cautioned that men who use testosterone to prevent aging may be at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
However, new recipes for testosterone began to decline even earlier. The number of men who began treatment began to decrease in 2012.
This coincided with the publication of clinical trials linking testosterone therapy with an increased risk of heart health problems, Bellergragon said. The results of these tests precede the FDA’s public announcement.
Bhasin said that testosterone therapy is recommended only for men with a medical condition that causes a deficiency in the hormone. It is not for men to go through the usual fall in testosterone levels that occurs with aging.
“We suspect that a large proportion of men in the last decade have been receiving testosterone and we have no clear indication of it,” said Bayarjun. A previous study found that a quarter of new users had not tested their hormone levels before obtaining a prescription.
Bellargion said he was now worried that men with a real testosterone deficiency might fear the hormone therapy they needed.
Without the testosterone supplement, these men are at risk for osteoporosis, osteoporosis, loss of lean muscle mass, weight gain, diabetes, depression and fatigue, Piragion said.
“For those men who may have feared some of this publicity, what are the short and long-term risks after they stop testing with testosterone?” He asked
His team will analyze whether the right men, who use testosterone as the “fountain of youth”, have withdrawn from hormone therapy in recent years.
The new study was published July 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.