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Testosterone replacement therapy slows development of COPD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects many people around the world. Physicians have been looking for ways to better treat COPD for some time. Researchers have now found that testosterone replacement therapy slows the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The University of Texas scientists found in their current investigation that testosterone replacement therapy slows the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Chronic Respiratory Disease".
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease leads to permanent lung damage in those affected. The disease also affects the bronchi and narrows the airways. It is difficult for those affected to breathe after the disease has progressed. This means that even low loads in everyday life, such as climbing stairs or short distances on foot, lead to shortness of breath. The disease develops slowly and is initially classified by those affected as smoking cough or asthma. It is usually recognized very late that there is a serious illness. By treating COPD, medical professionals are trying to slow the progression of the disease.
COPD will be the world's third leading cause of premature death in the future
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2030, COPD will be the third leading cause of premature death worldwide. Often, men with COPD have low testosterone levels. These men with COPD suffer from shortness of breath and often take medications based on steroids for treatment. Taking such medications over a long period of time can cause affected men to develop low testosterone levels, the doctors explain.
How does the treatment affect hospital stays?
Previous studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy in men with COPD can have a positive effect on lung function, explains study author Jacques Baillargeon from the medical school at the University of Texas at Galveston. The aim of the current study was to find out whether testosterone replacement therapy reduces the risk of hospitalization due to breathing difficulties in middle and old age men with COPD.
What were the results of the study?
When investigating, the medical team found that taking testosterone resulted in a greater decrease in hospital stays due to respiratory problems compared to non-users. Particularly in middle-aged patients, there was a 4.2 percent larger decrease in hospital stays due to respiratory problems compared to men who did not take testosterone. For older users, there was even a 9.1 percent drop in hospitalization for respiratory problems, says Baillargeon. The results of the study suggest that testosterone replacement therapy can slow the progression of the disease in men with COPD, the expert added. (as)