Relationship between testosterone levels and depressive symptoms in older men in Amirkola, Iran
Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran
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Background: Testosterone may be an important factor causing depression in the elderly men. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between testosterone levels and depressive symptoms in older men in Amirkola, Iran.
Methods: This cross- sectional study is a part of the Amirkola Health and Aging Project (AHAP) that involves people aged 60 and above living in Amirkola, a small town in northern Iran. The testosterone levels were measured using ELISA on morning blood samples (ngr / ml) and depressive symptoms were identified using Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The data were collected and analyzed.
Results: Eight hundred thirty elderly men with the mean age of 70.02±7.7 years were included. On the basis of GDS criteria, 593 individuals had no depressive symptoms and 237 had at least one of these symptoms. The mean serum testosterone level in men without symptoms of depression (4.94±4.22) ngr/ml and was higher than in those with such symptoms (4.19±3.65) ngr/ml (P=0.011). Also, there was a significant inverse correlation between the testosterone levels and number of depressive symptoms (P=0.015, r=-0.084). After adjusting with age and educational levels, and living alone (OR=2.6, 95% CI: 1.17-5.82, P=0.02), testosterone levels (OR=1.67, 95% CI: 1.03-2.72, P=0.038) had the greatest impact on the development of depression.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed a significant inverse relationship between serum testosterone levels and depressive symptoms in elderly men.