Study suggests testosterone treatments could increase sex drive for older men, slow aging
Dubbed the Testosterone Trials (T Trials), the study included the first three of seven double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that used as subjects men 65 and older with low levels of testosterone. The low levels were not caused by illness, and all the men had experienced decreased sexual function and mobility, as well as fatigue.
The study was conducted at 12 sites across the U.S.
The principal investigator on the study was Peter Snyder, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The majority of the funding for the study came from the NIH. Backing also came from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and AbbVie Pharmaceuticals.
“For a long time, there has been interest in whether testosterone is an appropriate therapy for aging-related conditions in men,” National Institute on Aging (NIA) Director Richard Hodes said. “This study clarifies questions about some of its potential benefits. As the researchers note, clarifying the risks requires further study.”
Major findings from the study include discovering that testosterone treatments increased sexual activity for men with low testosterone levels. In some cases, they improved physical functions such as walking and had positive effects on the subjects' moods.
“The trials’ results indicate that, for older men with low sexual function, testosterone treatment can contribute to improved function,” Evan Hadley, director of NIA’s Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, said. “In contrast, though, the results don’t indicate that testosterone treatment for older men with low walking ability or vitality will improve these conditions to a great extent. Additional trial arms tested effects on other aging-related outcomes, and we are looking forward to their results to help provide further insights into testosterone use in older men.”