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Summaries for Patients |

Daily Application of Dihydrotestosterone Gel Does Not Prevent Age-Related Growth of the Prostate Gland FREE

[+] Article and Author Information

The summary below is from the full report titled “Long-Term Effects of Dihydrotestosterone Treatment on Prostate Growth in Healthy, Middle-Aged Men Without Prostate Disease. A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” It is in the 16 November 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 153, pages 621-632). The authors are A. Idan, K.A. Griffiths, D.T. Harwood, M.J. Seibel, L. Turner, A.J. Conway, and D.J. Handelsman.


Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(10):I-38. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-10-201011160-00001
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What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

As men age, their prostate glands increase in size, sometimes leading to a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy. Benign prostatic hypertrophy often results in men having to urinate frequently, including at night, and having trouble starting urination so that they need surgery.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To see if giving men the male hormone dihydrotestosterone would change the size of the prostate gland over time.

Who was studied?

114 men older than 50 years without prostate disease or other chronic diseases.

How was the study done?

Men were randomly assigned to receive a gel with or without dihydrotestosterone. They were instructed to apply the gel to their skin once each day for 2 years. They used the same type of gel each day. The size of the prostate was determined by ultrasonography. Men also had tests of bone mineral density (BMD), as well as other tests to evaluate the safety of taking dihydrotestosterone each day.

What did the researchers find?

Both groups had a gradual increase in prostate size over 2 years, on average. Group assignment (using the gel with or without dihydrotestosterone) had no effect on the increase in prostate size. No serious adverse effects occurred in either group. However, men who used the gel with dihydrotestosterone had a decrease in spinal BMD over 2 years compared with men who used the gel without dihydrotestosterone. In other studies, a decrease in BMD has been associated with an increased risk for bone fractures (broken bones).

What were the limitations of the study?

The study was not designed to determine any effect of dihydrotestosterone on the development of prostate cancer.

What are the implications of the study?

Taking dihydrotestosterone does not change age-related increases in prostate size.

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