The ageing male experiences a decrease in testosterone at a rate of 10% per decade from the age of 30. This reduction of testosterone and other androgens experienced as a consequence of the ageing process has been named andropause or androgen deficiency of the ageing male (ADAM).
Decreased androgen levels contribute to increased fat mass and reduced bone mineral density, muscle mass and muscle strength. Erectile dysfunction and lowered libido are also associated with ADAM. Another major sign of lowered androgen levels include psychological changes including reduced assertiveness, cognition, memory, mood, self-esteem, wellbeing and energy. Lowered testosterone and other androgens may also increase the risk of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Testosterone treatment however may reverse these changes increasing lean body mass, muscle strength, bone mineral density, libido and mood, whilst reducing fat mass. Therefore diagnosing and treating androgen deficiency is vital for improving quality of life and reducing age-related health decline in the ageing male population.
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