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Testosterone Levels Have Fallen in Younger Men

Testosterone Levels Have Fallen in Younger MenIn the United States, testosterone levels have declined in adolescent and young adult men since 1999, according to a recent study.

The hormone testosterone plays an important role in men’s health. (Women’s bodies also produce testosterone, but in much smaller amounts.) Testosterone gives a man his masculine traits, like facial hair and muscle mass. It contributes to bone health. And it’s critical for sexual function and fertility. Libido, erections, and sperm production are largely driven by testosterone.

Around age 30, a man’s testosterone levels start to fall. It’s a natural part of getting older, and the process is gradual. Typically, a man may be diagnosed with testosterone deficiency if his levels fall below 300 ng/dL and he has symptoms like low sex drive, fatigue, and moodiness.

While younger men usually don’t need to worry about age-related testosterone declines, researchers have noted that almost 20% of adolescent and young adult men do have testosterone deficiency.

Researchers set out to learn more about the average testosterone levels for men in this age group. They worked with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), a large-scale study of adults in the U.S. In particular, they looked at information for men aged 15 to 39 over 5 survey cycles between 1999 and 2016.

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