The male menopause is real and sufferers should be given testosterone as part of the treatment, according to a controversial new study.
In a paper in the Journal of Ageing, researchers at the Centre for Men’s Health in London estimated that about 20 per cent of men over 50 had a testosterone deficiency, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Those affected suffered hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat among other symptoms.
The centre gave testosterone to more than 2,000 men over 26 years.
Professor Malcolm Carruthers, the centre’s chief medical officer, told the Telegraph: “This study proves [the therapy’s] effectiveness… but most importantly supports the safety of testosterone treatment, even over prolonged periods.
The male menopause has been dubbed the “andropause” by some, but the idea is disputed. Some experts believe it is brought on by stress caused by a midlife crisis, rather than a natural change.
Professor Frederick Wu, of Manchester University, disputed Professor Carruthers’ view of the implications of the research.
“In my opinion this publication is not only misleading but potentially dangerous, particularly when the author calls for many more men to be treated, inappropriately, with testosterone,” he said.
And Professor Jonathan Seckl, of Edinburgh University, said much more research was needed.
“It [the new paper] doesn’t appear to add much to a complex topic that cries out for a large blinded, randomised clinical trial,” he said.
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