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Low Testosterone Linked to Anemia Risk in Elderly

Non-anemic older adults with low testosterone levels run risk of being anemic three years later

MONDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with low testosterone levels may run a higher risk of developing anemia, according to a report in the July 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, and colleagues evaluated testosterone and hemoglobin levels in 905 people aged 65 or older who did not have cancer or kidney problems, and who were not undergoing antiandrogenic treatment.

The researchers found that among the 31 men and 57 women who had anemia, hemogloblin levels were linked to testosterone levels.

Men in the lowest quartile of total and bioavailable testosterone were 5.4 times more likely than men in the highest quartile to be anemic, while women in the lowest testosterone quartile were 2.1 times more likely to be anemic than women in the highest quartile.

Further, men and women who were not anemic but who had low levels of total and bioavailable testosterone were significantly more likely than those with normal testosterone levels to be anemic at a three-year follow up.

"Older men and women with low testosterone levels have a higher risk of anemia," the authors conclude.

The study was funded in part by a grant from Ortho Biotech Clinical Affairs, for which two of the researchers served as consultants.

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