Testosterone Use Is Trending Up, Needed Or Not
Word in the New York Times has it that the number of middle-aged men who are taking testosterone supplements is climbing rapidly, but the number of middle-aged men who actually need the hormone is not. Yes, many take it, while many fewer need it. Anahad O’Connor reports on the pharmaceutical company enriching trend, noting that the number of men taking testosterone has tripled since 2001, to 11 million. Testosterone does do some good things, writes O’Connor: it builds muscle, reduces body fat and improves sex drive. But it can cause thickening of the blood, acne and reduced sperm counts, and there are unproven concerns about it increasing the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. O’Connor cites a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine that found that many men who get prescriptions for the hormone have no evidence of a deficiency at all, and a quarter of testosterone-taking men did not even have their testosterone checked before signing up for the supplement. Read more from Anahad O’Connor.