A study suggests that low testosterone and estradiol levels might associate with mortality risk in older men. But do estradiol levels have anything to do with men’s health?
RELATED: Decline in Androgen Levels a Result from Aging?
Low T and Estradiol Levels Pose Higher Mortality Risks
Decreased Testosterone Levels & Men’s Health
Besides sexual health, testosterone is an indicator of male physiological health, e.g., the bones, muscles, fat mass, or brain functions.
As a result, declined testosterone levels lead to decreased muscle mass, impaired physical performance, and cognitive function.
Does Estradiol Have Anything to Do With Men’s Health?
Traditionally, we often regard estrogen as female sex hormones as opposed to testosterone – male sex hormones. Interestingly enough, the primary form of estrogen – estradiol – plays a critical role in male sexual functions, including:
- Sex Drive
- Sperm Production
- Testicular Function
According to research from Endocrine Society, the normal estradiol levels of adult males should be around 10–40 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).
Low Testosterone and Estradiol Levels Associate To All-Cause Mortality in Elderly Men?
Due to the rising interest in testosterone supplementation for middle-aged men, it is critical to examine a possible association between low testosterone and estradiol levels and men’s overall wellness.
A study by Asa Tivesten (Tivesten et al.) sought this possible relationship between the two sex hormones and all-cause mortality in older men (69 to 80 years old).
The Results | Risk of Death Nearly Doubled
- After four and a half years, 383 deaths occurred among 3014 participants.
- Low levels of both testosterone and estradiol predicted mortality in multivariate hazards regression models.
- Subjects with low levels of both testosterone and estradiol had the highest risk of mortality, which was two times higher than that of subjects within quartiles 2-4 of both hormones.
Hypotheses & Conclusions
The study proposes two major hypotheses:
- Low sex hormone levels cause/worsen diseases, and therefore associate with death.
- Diseases cause low sex hormone levels, thereby leading to death.
There’s evidence supporting the second hypothesis, given that both acute and chronic illnesses reduce testosterone production. This is especially true in acute illnesses where testosterone is profoundly depressed through direct and indirect mechanisms.
Also, hypogonadism associates with various chronic diseases, namely alcoholic liver disease, rheumatic diseases, or renal disease.
RELATED: 6 Anti-Aging Myths & Misconceptions
In conclusion, the study demonstrates an increased risk of mortality in older men with low testosterone and estradiol levels, implying that both these sex hormones can act as mortality risk markers for male individuals.
Read the study’s original publication here: Low serum testosterone and estradiol predict mortality in elderly men.
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