Deficient testosterone levels in men above 45 years with major depressive disorder - an age-matched case control study

A M Dikobe, C W van Staden, S Reif, M Bornman


Background. Symptoms of partial androgen deficiency in ageing men (PADAM) overlap considerably with those of major depressive disorder. The relationship between these conditions is complicated by the usual age-related decline in serum testosterone concentrations.

Objectives. To test the hypothesis that depressed men above 45 years of age have lower serum testosterone concentrations than age-matched controls.

Method. Serum testosterone fractions of 20 men above the age of 45 years suffering from a major depressive disorder were compared with those of 20 healthy men. An age-matched controlled design was used to account for the usual age-related decline in serum testosterone concentrations.

Results. Testosterone concentrations of men suffering from a major depressive disorder were statistically significantly lower than those of an age-matched control group without depression. Conclusion. The role of testosterone deficiency in depressed men needs to be examined further in order for appropriate treatment options to be developed.

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Submitted: 02 October 2007
Published: 01 August 2007

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)