Obesity, a condition linked to heart disease and diabetes, now appears to be associated with another health problem, but one that affects men only – low testosterone levels. A new study conducted by University at Buffalo and published online ahead of print in the journal Diabetes Care, showed that 40 percent of obese participants involved in the Hypogonadism in Males (HIM) study, had lower-than-normal testosterone readings. Results also showed that men with diabetes, whether obese or not, showed lower levels of testosterone than non-diabetic men across all weight categories. Among obese men with diabetes, the percentage of men with lower than normal testosterone readings rose to 50 percent. Testosterone levels decreased significantly in both diabetic and non-diabetic men as BMI increased.
This is the largest analysis of the association between obesity and low testosterone, and the first to compare prevalence of low testosterone with obesity and diabetes separately and together. The study shows that obesity and diabetes may exert independent influences on testosterone concentrations.