Testosterone replacement therapy in the treatment of hypogonadism showed no benefit in slowing the progression of prediabetes or diabetes, contrary to previous evidence that suggested potential improvements in insulin sensitivity and metabolism.
“The findings of this study suggest that testosterone replacement therapy alone should not be used as a therapeutic intervention to prevent or treat diabetes in men with hypogonadism,” reported the authors of research published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The suggestion that testosterone replacement could prevent or slow diabetes stems from numerous studies linking testosterone deficiency to a host of adverse effects that include increases in insulin resistance and an increased risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, one recent uncontrolled study showed a lower rate of progression from prediabetes to diabetes in testosterone-treated vs untreated men with hypogonadism.
But with no known randomized clinical trials evaluating the effects of testosterone on diabetes in the absence of a concurrent lifestyle intervention, Shalender Bhasin, MB, of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues conducted a substudy of the randomized TRAVERSE trial, which was conducted at 316 sites in the United States.
“We hypothesized that testosterone replacement therapy for men with hypogonadism and prediabetes would be associated with a significantly lower rate of progression to diabetes,” they wrote.
In the study, named the TRAVERSE Diabetes Study, 5204 participants aged between 40 and 85 years with hypogonadism as well as prediabetes (n = 1175) or diabetes (n = 3880) were randomized 1:1 to receive treatment either with 1.62% testosterone gel or placebo gel.
The participants had a mean age of 63.2 years, and the mean A1c among those with prediabetes was 5.8%.
For the primary outcome, the risk for progression to diabetes did not differ significantly between the testosterone-treated and placebo groups at 6 months (0.7% vs 1.4%), 12 months (7.8% vs 10.7%), 24 months (10.1% vs 14.6%), 36 months (12.8% vs 15.8%), or 48 months (13.4% vs 15.7%; omnibus test P = .49).
There were also no significant differences in terms of glycemic remission and the changes in glucose and A1c levels between the testosterone- and placebo-treated men with prediabetes or diabetes, consistent with findings from previous smaller trials.
The authors pointed out that the participants in the TRAVERSE trial had mild to moderate testosterone deficiency, and “it is possible that greater improvements in insulin sensitivity may be observed in men with severe testosterone deficiency.”
However, they noted that most men with hypogonadism who are treated with testosterone replacement therapy have only mild testosterone deficiency.
The parent TRAVERSE study did show testosterone replacement therapy to be associated with higher incidences of venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation, and acute kidney injury; however, no additional between-group differences were observed based on diabetes or prediabetes status.
“The findings of this study do not support the use of testosterone replacement therapy alone to prevent or to treat diabetes in men with hypogonadism,” the authors concluded.
Study ‘Overcomes Limitations of Prior Studies’
In an editorial published concurrently with the study, Lona Mody, MD, of the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Care Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and colleagues underscored that “the results of this study suggest that testosterone replacement therapy will not benefit glycemic control in men without hypogonadism despite the inappropriately high rates of use in this group.”
Further commenting to Medscape Medical News, Mody elaborated on the high rates of use, noting that data have shown androgen use among men over 40 years increased more than threefold from 0.81% in 2001 to 2.91% in 2011.
“Based on sales data, testosterone prescribing has increased 100-fold from $18 million in the late 1980s to $1.8 billion over three decades,” Mody said.
She noted that while some previous research has shown a similar lack of benefits, “the current study overcomes some limitations of prior studies.”
Ultimately, the evidence indicated that “the only major indication for testosterone replacement therapy remains to treat bothersome symptoms of hypogonadism,” Mody said. “It does not appear to have metabolic benefits.”
This trial was funded by a consortium of testosterone manufacturers led by AbbVie, Inc., with additional financial support provided by Endo Pharmaceuticals, Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/testosterone-replacement-shows-no-benefit-diabetes-2024a10002t7?src=rss
Publish date : 2024-02-08 11:19:24
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