Differential effects of 11 years of long-term injectable testosterone undecanoate therapy on anthropometric and metabolic parameters in hypogonadal men with normal weight, overweight and obesity in comparison with untreated controls: real-world data from a controlled registry study

Int J Obes (Lond). 2020 Jun;44(6):1264-1278. doi: 10.1038/s41366-019-0517-7. Epub 2020 Jan 28.


Background and significance: Obesity is a chronic disease, warranting long-term medical intervention. We evaluated effects of testosterone (T) therapy (Th) in men with T deficiency with normal weight, overweight and obesity on anthropometric and metabolic parameters, compared with untreated men.

Methods: Hypogonadal men (n = 823) with total T ≤ 12.1 nmol/L (age: 60.6 ± 7.0 years) participated in an ongoing registry study. Among these men 474 (57.6%) were obese, 286 (34.8%) overweight and 63 (7.7%) had normal weight. T undecanoate injections were administered to 428 men and 395 remained untreated. Anthropometric and metabolic parameters were measured at least twice a year and changes adjusted for confounding factors to account for baseline differences between groups.

Results: Long-term TTh in hypogonadal men, irrespective of weight at baseline, produced improvements in body weight, waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI). Furthermore, TTh decreased fasting blood glucose and HbA1c and improved lipid profiles. Gradual decreases in blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and pulse pressure occurred in men treated with T in each group. Marked reductions in mortality and major cardiovascular events were recorded in men receiving TTh.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that TTh produces reductions in weight, WC, and BMI. There were 77 (19.5%) deaths in the untreated groups and 23 (5.4%) in the T-groups. Based on these findings we suggest that long-term TTh in overweight and obese hypogonadal men produces progressive and sustained clinically meaningful weight loss and that TTh may contribute to reductions in mortality and incident major adverse cardiovascular events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / complications
  • Hypogonadism / drug therapy*
  • Injections
  • Lipids / blood
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Overweight / complications*
  • Registries
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Weight Loss*


  • Lipids
  • Testosterone
  • testosterone undecanoate