BACKGROUND: Symptoms of partial androgen deficiency in ageing men (PADAM) overlap considerably with those of major depressive disorder. The relationship between these conditions is complicated by the usual age-related decline in serum testosterone concentrations.
OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that depressed men above 45 years of age have lower serum testosterone concentrations than age-matched controls.
METHOD: Serum testosterone fractions of 20 men above the age of 45 years suffering from a major depressive disorder were compared with those of 20 healthy men. An age-matched controlled design was used to account for the usual age-related decline in serum testosterone concentrations.
RESULTS: Testosterone concentrations of men suffering from a major depressive disorder were statistically significantly lower than those of an age-matched control group without depression.
CONCLUSION: The role of testosterone deficiency in depressed men needs to be examined further in order for appropriate treatment options to be developed.