New data from the Health in Men Study raise questions about the role of testosterone supplementation in ageing men
Ageing of the “baby boomer” generation foreshadows a future shaped by demographic change, with increasing numbers of older Australians. The large, longitudinal Western Australian Health in Men Study (HIMS) is therefore timely, as it examines the endocrinology of male ageing and predictors of health in community-dwelling older men.1,2 As part of HIMS, my colleagues and I surveyed 3274 men aged 75–95 years in 2008–2009 using a questionnaire that included items on sexual activity.3 Of 2930 men who reported on the importance they attached to sex, 48.8% considered it important, and of the 2783 men who provided data on sexual activity, 30.8% had at least one sexual encounter (defined as any mutually voluntary activity with another person that involves sexual contact, whether or not intercourse or orgasm occurs4) in the previous 12 months.3 Of these older sexually active men, 56.5% were satisfied with the frequency of sex, while 43.0% would have preferred sex more frequently.3 These findings indicate that many older Australian men consider sexual activity important and desirable.
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