According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by the year 2030 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be internationally the third-leading cause of illness and death internationally by 2030. Men diagnosed with COPD will likely have low testosterone which may worsen their condition. Additionally, they may have shortness of breath and often take steroid-based therapeutics over an extended period of time-- increasing their risk of low testosterone.
In a study published in Chronic Respiratory Disease, researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston discovered that testosterone replacement therapy may reduce the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. "Previous studies have suggested that testosterone replacement therapy may have a positive effect on lung function in men with COPD," said Jacques Baillargeon, UTMB professor in preventive medicine and community health. "However, we are the first to conduct a large scale nationally representative study on this association."
The purpose of the research study was to determine if testosterone replacement therapy decreased the risk of respiratory hospitalizations in middle-aged and older men with COPD. By utilizing ‘Clinformatics Data Mart,’ a database consisting of the largest commercially insured populations in the U.S., Baillargeon and colleagues examined data of 450 COPD male participants aged 40 to 63 with COPD who were placed on testosterone replacement therapy between 2005 and 2014. Additionally, the derived data from the National Medicare to examine information from 253 COPD males aged 66 and older who were on testosterone replacement therapy between 2008 and 2013. "We found that testosterone users had a greater decrease in respiratory hospitalizations compared with non-users. Specifically, middle-aged testosterone replacement therapy users had a 4.2 percent greater decrease in respiratory hospitalizations compared with non-users and older testosterone replacement therapy users had a 9.1 percent greater decrease in respiratory hospitalizations compared with non-users," said Baillargeon. "The findings suggest that testosterone replacement therapy may slow the progression of disease in men with COPD."