June 19, 2008

Hormone May Help Metabolic Syndrome

German and Dutch scientists say men with metabolic syndrome and low testosterone levels benefit from hormone therapy.

When testosterone levels were restored to normal in men with metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes -- a number of factors, such as cholesterol levels, waist circumference and body mass index, improved.

Study leader Farid Saad of Bayer Schering Pharma headquartered in Berlin said the researchers used a slow-release injectable form of testosterone over a year-long period to restore normal testosterone levels in 95 low testosterone men with metabolic syndrome.

The degree of testosterone deficiency before treatment did not predict the beneficial outcome, and when the patients were divided by age the oldest men had similar improvements as the youngest men.

We conclude that if elderly men have a deficiency of testosterone, it is worthwhile to treat them with testosterone, Saad said in a statement.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society in San Francisco.