Introduction: Androgen deficiency in aging men has attracted much medical interest. Most studies on androgen deficiency have been conducted in Caucasian populations, and data from other ethnicities are lacking.
Aim: To evaluate the prevalence of and risk factors for androgen deficiency and symptomatic androgen deficiency in Taiwanese men over 40 years old.
Methods: From August 2007 to April 2008, a free health screening was conducted by a medical center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and 819 men participated in this health screening. All participants completed a health questionnaire, received a detailed physical examination, and blood samples were drawn between 8:00 and 12:00 am.
Main outcome measures: Serum total testosterone (TT), albumin, and sex hormone-binding globulin levels were measured. The level of free testosterone (FT) was calculated. Clinical symptoms of androgen deficiency were assessed using the Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male (ADAM) questionnaire.
Results: Seven hundred thirty-four men who met the inclusion criteria (mean age 57.4 +/- 6.7 years; range: 43-87 years) were included in this study. The prevalence of androgen deficiency was 24.1% based on the criterion of TT level < 300 ng/dL, and 16.6% based on the criterion of both TT < 300 ng/dL and FT < 5 ng/dL. The prevalence of symptomatic androgen deficiency was 12.0%. Both prevalence of androgen deficiency and symptomatic androgen deficiency increased with age. Older age, obesity, and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors for androgen deficiency and symptomatic androgen deficiency.
Conclusions: In a sample of aging Taiwanese men, a substantial proportion had androgen deficiency and symptomatic androgen deficiency, and the prevalence increased with age. Older age, obesity, and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors for androgen deficiency and symptomatic androgen deficiency. Those potentially modifiable risk factors like obesity and diabetes mellitus should be prevented to maintain normal testosterone levels during aging in men.