Does Low Testosterone Up Anemia Risk in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes?

A total of 45 men with type 2 diabetes mellitus were included in the study.
A total of 45 men with type 2 diabetes mellitus were included in the study.

This article is written live from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 2017 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. MPR will be reporting news on the latest findings from leading experts in endocrinology. Check back for more news from AACE 2017.


According to findings of a cross-sectional study presented at the AACE 2017 Annual Meeting, “low testosterone is associated with anaemia among men with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

A total of 45 men with type 2 diabetes mellitus were included in the study. Both sociodemographic and clinical data were collected. Tests of association were completed to determine the relationship between testosterone and hemoglobin levels. ELISA was utilized to obtain serum total testosterone levels while hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations were measured using flow cytometry. A testosterone level of <10.4nmol/L was considered low. Serum creatinine levels were also obtained and used to estimate glomerular filtration rates (GFR).

The average age of patients included in the study was 63±11 years, while the median duration of the disease since diagnosis was 8 (3–15) years. Of the patients included in the study, 24% were found to have a low serum testosterone level. The average testosterone level was reported to be 14.8 ± 5.2nmol/L. 

Lead study author, Oyindamola Awofisoye, MBChB, of the University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria, reported that the study found “a significant positive correlation between testosterone and Hb concentration (r=0.48, P=0.001).” For patients with low testosterone concentrations, the average Hb concentration was 11.7g/dL vs. 13.2g/dL for those with normal testosterone levels (P=0.004). The study authors also reported that “using linear regression analysis to control for age and GFR, serum testosterone remained independently associated with haemoglobin concentration.”

In male patients with type 2 diabetes, a low testosterone level was found to be associated with anemia. These findings are consistent with previous reports. The study authors added that “the presence of features of hypogonadism should trigger evaluation for anaemia in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

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