Though the clinical significance of testosterone deficiency is becoming increasingly apparent, its prevalence in the general population remains unrecognised. A large web-based survey was undertaken over 3 years to study the scale of this missed diagnosis.
An online questionnaire giving the symptoms characterising testosterone deficiency syndrome (Aging Male Symptoms – AMS – scale) was set up on three web sites, together with questions about possible contributory factors. Results. Of over 10,000 men, mainly from the UK and USA, who responded, 80% had moderate or severe scores likely to benefit from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The average age was 52, but with many in their 40s when the diagnosis of ‘late onset hypogonadism’ is not generally considered. Other possible contributory factors to the high testosterone deficiency scores reported were obesity (29%), alcohol (17.3%), testicular problems such as mumps orchitis (11.4%), prostate problems (5.6%), urinary infection (5.2%) and diabetes 5.7%.
In this self-selected large international sample of men, there was a very high prevalence of scores which if clinically relevant would warrant a therapeutic trial of testosterone treatment. This study suggests that there are large numbers of men in the community whose testosterone deficiency is neither being diagnosed nor treated.