Long term opioid use previously has been link with low testosterone in men. What has been unclear is how many men taking opioids had been screened or treated for low testosterone. A new study by researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has find a very low rate of screening for low testosterone; a surprising finding give that a link is know.
UTMB researchers conduct the first large-scale; nationally representative investigation; so how many of the men with extend opioid prescriptions were screen; also if need, treat for low testosterone. Although more men taking long term opioids were screen for low testosterone than men who only took opioids for a short period; these rates were; surprisingly lower than expect; base on previous, smaller studies. The findings are currently available in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes.
Department of preventive medicine
Given the dramatic increase in opioid use over the past 20 years, it’s likely that opioid induce low testosterone is becoming increasingly common. This situation can have a profound effect on men’s health and quality of life.” Senior author Jacques Baillargeon, UTMB professor in the department of preventive medicine and community health.
Using one of the nation’s largest commercial insurance databases; the researchers identify 53,888 men age 20 years or older who had 90 or more days of opioid prescriptions in a single 12-month period between January 1, 2010 and December 21, 2017 with no history of low testosterone or testosterone therapy in the year before. The researchers compare this group of men with 53,888 men who receive 14 or fewer days of opioid prescriptions that were otherwise familiar.
Rate of low testosterone screening
Although the rate of low testosterone screening; diagnosis and treatment was higher among men with prolonge opioid prescriptions; so than those only taking opioids for a brief period; these numbers were lower than expect. “This finding suggests a wide underscreening of opioid induce low-testosterone; but it’s not clear what factors drove this low rate,” said Baillargeon. “It may reflect a lack of awareness among some clinicians or a reluctance to screen for conditions that would require additional medications in patients who already have complex conditions and treatment plans.
“From a patient’s perspective, it’s possible that men who are struggling with chronic pain; so relate conditions are less concern than their peers about low testosterone symptoms; also are therefore less likely to bring these symptoms to the attention to their physician.” Prolong opioid exposure was with increase rates of screening, diagnosis; also treatment for opioid induce hypogonadism; but these rates were much lower than expect base on previous serum base studies.