Medicine (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Testosterone and glucose metabolism in men: current concepts and controversies
    Grossmann, M (BIOSCIENTIFICA LTD, 2014-03-01)
    A wealth of observational studies show that low testosterone is associated with insulin resistance and with an increased risk of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Experimental studies have identified potential mechanisms by which low testosterone may lead to insulin resistance. Visceral adipose tissue is an important intermediate in this relationship. Actions of testosterone or its metabolite oestradiol on other tissues such as muscle, liver, bone or the brain, and body composition-independent effects may also play a role. However, definitive evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to clarify whether the association of low testosterone with disordered glucose metabolism is causative is currently lacking. It therefore remains possible that this association is due to reverse causation, or simply originates by association with common health and lifestyle factors. RCTs of testosterone therapy in men with or without diabetes consistently show modest metabolically favourable changes in body composition. Despite this, testosterone effects on glucose metabolism have been inconsistent. Recent evidence suggests that the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis suppression in the majority of obese men with metabolic disorders is functional, and may be, at least in part, reversible with weight loss. Until further evidence is available, lifestyle measures with emphasis on weight reduction, treatment of comorbidities and optimisation of diabetic control should remain the first-line treatment in these men. Such measures, if successful, may be sufficient to normalise testosterone levels in men with metabolic disorders, who typically have only modest reductions in circulating testosterone levels.
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    Obesity and age as dominant correlates of low testosterone in men irrespective of diabetes status
    Fui, MNT ; Hoermann, R ; Cheung, AS ; Gianatti, EJ ; Zajac, JD ; Grossmann, M (WILEY, 2013-11-01)
    Although men with type 2 diabetes (T2D) frequently have lowered testosterone levels, it is not well established whether this is ascribable to the diabetic state per se, or because of other factors, such as obesity. Our objective was to determine the prevalence and correlates of low testosterone in middle-aged men with diabetes. We conducted a cross-sectional study in 240 men including 80 men with type 1 diabetes (T1D), 80 men with T2D and 80 men without diabetes. Prevalence of a total testosterone ≤8 nmol/L was low, occurring in none of the men with T1D, 6.2% of men with T2D and 2.5% of men without diabetes. Men with T1D had higher testosterone levels compared with men without diabetes (p < 0.001), even after adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and age (p < 0.02). While men with T2D had lower testosterone compared with controls (p = 0.03), this was no longer significant when BMI and age were taken into account (p = 0.16). In the entire cohort, TT remained inversely associated with BMI independent of age, sex hormone-binding globulin and diabetic status (p = 0.01), whereas calculated free testosterone (cFT) was independently and inversely associated with age (p < 0.001), but not with BMI (p = 0.47). These results suggest that marked reductions in circulating testosterone are uncommon in middle-aged men with diabetes. Increasing BMI and age are dominant drivers of lowered total and cFT, respectively, independent of the presence or absence of diabetes.