Men with low testosterone face higher diabetes risk

Fri, 04 May 2012
A study by scientists at Edinburgh University has found that men who have low levels of testosterone could have a greater likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

The laboratory research showed that low levels of testosterone were associated with a resistance to insulin, which helps to control blood sugar levels in the body. Mice that had impaired testosterone in their fat tissue were shown to be at a greater chance of being insulin-resistant.

Low levels of testosterone, a steroid hormone that is present throughout the body, is linked with obesity, a risk factor for people developing type 2 diabetes, but the study also reported that there was an increased chance of diabetes regardless of body weight. It is hoped the findings will offer evidence of why older men are at more risk of developing diabetes as testosterone levels are known to drop for men as they get older.

Researcher Kerry McInnes commented "We know that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to become obese and as a result, develop diabetes. This study shows that low testosterone is a risk factor for diabetes no matter how much a person weighs. As men age their testosterone levels lower."

She added "This, along with increasing obesity, will increase the incidence of diabetes."
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