New study maps which health factors influence male testosterone levels

31 August 2023
Ground-breaking international research that UZ Leuven participated in, provides important insights about the complex relationship between hormones and male health.

The study draws on a comprehensive dataset or 25,000 men distributed over 11 diverse patient groups worldwide, and gives more insight in how factors such as age, lifestyle and medical disorders can influence the testosterone levels of men. Professors Leen Antonio and Dirk Vanderschueren, both active as specialists within the field of endocrinology at UZ Leuven, collaborated in the international Androgens in Men Study.


Researchers found that, in general, the testosterone level remained stable in men between 17 and 70 years. In men over 70 there was a considerable drop, which raises questions about the testicular function in older men and potential health implications. 

Prof. dr. Leen Antonio: “We saw that there are several other factors that affect the testosterone level: obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases contribute to lower testosterone. Also men in a steady relationship or who used to smoke, have lower testosterone levels.”

This immense dataset offers enormous possibilities to study in detail which health factors affect testosterone levels in men.

Prof. dr. Dirk Vanderschueren: “It was a real feat to bring the data of 25,000 men from all over the world together. Our share in the study was providing analysed data about testosterone and health of a large number of European men, including 300 men from the Leuven area. This immense dataset provides enormous possibilities to study in detail which health factors have an influence on testosterone levels in men.”

The findings have wider implications for both medical research and clinical practice. By identifying various key factors it is possible to work towards more targeted and improved healthcare practices for men. 

The research was led by the University of Western-Australia, and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Last edit: 4 September 2023