Age-related prevalence of low testosterone in men with spinal cord injury

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Objective: To describe the relationship of advancing age in persons with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) on the prevalence of low testosterone in men with SCI compared to historical normative data from able-bodied men in the general population. Design: Retrospective, cross-sectional study. Two hundred forty-three healthy, non-ambulatory outpatient men with chronic SCI from age of 21 to 78 years were included in this retrospective analysis. Results: Forty-six percent of men with SCI were identified as having low serum total testosterone concentrations (total testosterone <11.3 nmol/l). The age-related decline in SCI for total serum testosterone concentration was 0.6%/year compared to 0.4%/year in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Between the third and eighth decade of life, men with SCI had a 15, 39, 50, 53, 58, and 57% prevalence rate of low serum total testosterone, which is higher than values reported for each decade of life for able-bodied men in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging. Conclusion: Compared with the general population, low serum total testosterone concentration occurs earlier in life in men with SCI, at a higher prevalence by decade of life, and their age-related decline in circulating total testosterone concentration is greater. Studies of T replacement therapy in men with SCI should assist in determining the possible functional and clinical benefits from reversing low serum total testosterone concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Aging
  • Paraplegia
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Testosterone replacement therapy
  • Tetraplegia


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