November 10, 2020

TROUBLING: Testosterone levels show steady decrease among young US men. “After controlling for confounders—including year of study, age, race, BMI, comorbidity status, alcohol and smoking use, and level of physical activity—total testosterone was lower among men in the later (2011-2016) versus earlier (1999-2000) cycles (P < 0.001). Mean total testosterone decreased from 1999-2000 (605.39 ng/dL), 2003-2004 (567.44 ng/dL), 2011-2012 (424.96 ng/dL), 2013-2014 (431.76 ng/dL), and 2015-2016 (451.22 ng/dL; all P < .0001)." Is this because people are fat? Only partly. "Elevated BMI was associated with reduced total testosterone levels (P < .0001), with the mean BMI increasing from 25.83 in 1999-2000, to 27.96 in 2015-2016 (P = 0.0006). Lokeshwar noted that even men with a normal BMI (18.5-24.9) had declining total testosterone levels (P < .05) during the same time frames." Walking around campus, students of both sexes look fatter than they did, say, 20 years ago. But the big change I notice is men with soft, female-looking fat distribution rather than the more traditional John Belushi keg body.

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