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Testosterone replacement therapy for late-onset hypogonadism: current trends in Korea

Young Hwii Ko, Je Jong Kim
Asian Journal of Andrology 2011, 13 (4): 563-8
21572448
Testosterone levels in men older than 40 years can decrease at a rate of 1%-2% per year, and reports show that more than 50% of 80-year-old men have testosterone levels consistent with hypogonadism. Late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) is a clinical and biochemical syndrome associated with advancing age and characterized by typical symptoms of serum testosterone deficiency. In recent decades, the concept of LOH in ageing men has become familiar in European countries and the United States. It is also a topic of interest and debate throughout Korea. However, most of the data regarding advantages or disadvantages of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as treatment for LOH have been primarily obtained from studies on Western populations; therefore, studies of the effects of TRT in Asian men, who may have different serum testosterone compared to Western men, are needed. TRT is commonly prescribed in Korea, despite the paucity of studies on the effects of TRT in Asian populations. Data from various TRT studies based on Korean have shown its efficacy in increasing serum testosterone levels and improving subjective symptoms as assessed by questionnaires. Currently, patches and short-acting intramuscular injections are displaced by gels and long-acting formulations. However, to prevent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, indication for TRT should include both low testosterone levels and symptoms and signs of hypogonadism.

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