a man in a suit looking to the distance

1 in 4 Men Over 30 Has Low Testosterone

A recent study from the New England Research Institute seems to suggest that around a quarter of men over the age of 30 suffers from low testosterone. 

Many of these men do not seem to exhibit any symptoms related to their condition.

The Study

The study was carried out by the New England Research Institute and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

It is worth noting that this study was only carried out on people in the Boston Area. They had to be enrolled on the Boston Area Community Health Survey.

Although, similar studies around the world seem to indicate that low testosterone is a wide-spread issue and not just limited to the Boston area.

The study looked at 1,500 men aged between 30 and 79. It looked at:

  • Testosterone levels
  • Symptoms of potential hormone deficiency
  • Medications that these men may be taking

The last point is especially important, because this study may indicate that an increasingly medicated population may actually be having an impact on testosterone levels as a whole.

The study found that around 24% of the men in the survey suffered from low testosterone and around 11% suffered from low free testosterone.

Testosterone Naturally Lowers as We Age

It is no secret that testosterone levels in men will naturally lower as they get older.

There are a variety of reasons for this, but the long and the short of it is that your body is not producing as much testosterone as it did previously.

The vast majority of men are not going to notice their testosterone levels falling. 

In fact, most of the symptoms related to low testosterone will not start to appear unless levels go below the lower limit.

The minimum ‘normal’ range of testosterone is 300 nanograms per decilitre (ng/DL) and 5 ng/DL for free testosterone.

If a man is hovering around those marks, although it would be ideally higher, then they are unlikely to notice any symptoms related to low testosterone.

Well, at least they will not be able to spot that their symptoms are related to low testosterone.

The study from the New England Research Instituted defined low testosterone around the same point, so anybody that fell below this measurement was defined as having ‘low testosterone’.

There are a variety of different conditions which can lead to this condition. Some of the most known ones are:

  • Obesity
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Infection
  • Some forms of cancer

Obviously, if you fall below the minimum it does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from one of these conditions, but the likelihood is going to be a lot higher.

I think the main issue with low testosterone, and one which many people do not seem to talk about, is the fact that when testosterone gets low, bone density changes which means that it can be a lot easier to break bones…which is a common thing that occurs when people get older.

Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency

Surprisingly, only 5.6% of all people in the survey had symptoms related to testosterone deficiency.

This could either mean that people are unable to spot their symptoms, which is highly likely, or the body had adapted to the lower testosterone levels.

Symptoms of testosterone deficiency include:

  • Lower sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of hair
  • Inability to sleep
  • Fatigue

However, it is worth pointing out that these symptoms do not necessarily indicate low testosterone.

Many of these symptoms can be linked to other conditions, some of them are a lot more serious than having low testosterone in the body.

Low testosterone just means that you are more likely to experience one or more of these symptoms. It is something that will need to be looked at.

What does this all mean?

An ageing population in western countries means that the number of people suffering from low testosterone is likely to rise drastically over the coming decades.

In fact, it is expected that by the year 2025 the United States will have seen a 38% rise in men with symptomatic androgen deficiency from the year 2000 which means that more than 6.5 million men may be affected.

This increase is seen to affect men between 30 and 79 years of age. 

While many of these men are unlikely to ever need to seek treatment in order to deal with their low testosterone levels, it is likely that more and more men will do so.

This could lead to an increase in the number of treatments being available to the public, both natural and pharmaceutical.

However, until more research is carried out, it is unlikely that we will be able to see the long term effects of low testosterone on the population, or even whether many of these people can be treated using the current treatment methods we have available to us.

Picture of DAniel

Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

Get in touch: [email protected]