Testosterone use drops sharply after a decade of increases

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Takeaway

  • A database analysis indicates that testosterone use in the United States increased between 2002 and 2013, then decreased between 2013 and 2016.

Why this matters

  • Many men take testosterone without a clear indication, and testosterone has recently been linked to increased risk for myocardial infarction and stroke.

Key results

  • Between 2002 and 2013, total testosterone use among men increased from 0.52% to 3.20%.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, total testosterone use among men decreased from 3.20% to 1.67%.
  • The rate for new users increased from 0.28% to 1.26% between 2002 and 2013, then decreased to 0.48% in 2016.
  • Following a publication linking testosterone to cardiovascular adverse events, new testosterone users decreased 22% between October 2013 and December 2013.
  • Following a similar publication and FDA safety communication, new testosterone users decreased 50% between January and August 2014.
  • The decline in new testosterone users occurred in all age groups (53% relative decrease in men aged 30-39 years; 69% relative decrease in men aged ≥65 years).

Study design

  • 9,962,538 men 30 years and older from Clinformatics Data Mart were analyzed for testosterone use patterns.
  • Funding: NIH.

Limitations

  • Selection bias (database selects for employed males).