Women Urged To Address Men's Health This New Year
Nine out of 10 women in the United States are unaware that if their husband or male partner experiences symptoms like fatigue, depressed mood and increased waistline it could be related to a condition known as low testosterone, or Low T, according to survey results announced today by Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
For women resolving to talk to their husbands or boyfriends about making their health a priority this New Year, one important aspect to consider is low testosterone. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has introduced a toll-free number, 1-866-996-LowT (5698), available through the end of January, and expanded Web site offerings at www.IsItLowT.com to support women who are encouraging the men in their lives to have an annual medical exam this year and consider talking about symptoms that may be related to Low T.
The survey of women with husbands or male partners over 40, found that women are twice as likely as men to prompt their partners to have an annual medical exam. Further, 65 percent of women said that worrying about their husband or male partner's overall health will affect their anxiety levels in 2009, and one part of overall health is low testosterone, which also includes symptoms such as fatigue, depression and sexual dysfunction. As women enter the New Year with the men in their lives' health in mind, these new tools offer them easily-accessible information including a low testosterone screener, tips on starting a conversation with men about Low T, facts on the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and low testosterone, and treatment options for low testosterone.
"Thirteen million men in the U.S. age 45 and older suffer from low testosterone, but less than 10 percent are receiving treatment. Not enough men are aware of what the symptoms are, and they should consider talking to a physician," said Harry Fisch, M.D. Professor of Clinical Urology, Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital. "Women play an active role in their husband's health; if they are better informed about the signs and symptoms of treatable medical conditions such as low testosterone they can help make a big impact in the health of their male partners."
Survey Key Findings
-- Women reported that time away from work would be the leading obstacle keeping their husband or male partner from a doctor's visit in 2009; more than a quarter of women (27 percent) also said that fear and lack of motivation would play a role in preventing a doctor's visit.
-- 82 percent of women responded that their spouse or male partner was more likely to discuss changes in cardiovascular health, eyesight or hearing with them after an annual medical exam than changes in weight or sexual function.
-- Women were two times more likely to attribute symptoms, such as fatigue and depressed mood, to thyroid disease or diabetes than to the possibility that the men lives may be suffering from low testosterone.
-- Not surprisingly, on average women report that the men in their lives spend five times more hours a month watching television than addressing their personal health; less than a quarter (21 percent) said that long-term health is most important to their husband's or male partner's daily life.
"The New Year is the perfect opportunity for men to take time out to address their overall health, including Low T, by having an annual medical exam, and discussing any questions or concerns that they might have with their physicians," said Dr. Elizabeth M. Mutisya, vice president of U.S. Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
About the Survey
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. commissioned Opinion Research Corporation to survey 406 women married or in a relationship with men over 40 years old to assess the role women play in their partner's health. The random phone survey also explored respondents' opinions about how well their male partner managed his health in 2008 and his level of dedication to his health versus other activities in his life.
The margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for the total sample in each survey. The study was conducted December 4-8, 2008.
About Low Testosterone
It is estimated that hypogonadism, also known as low testosterone, affects more than 13 million men in the United States age 45 and older. Because signs and symptoms of low testosterone are subtle and often overlap with other common medical conditions, low testosterone is frequently undiagnosed. Signs and symptoms of low testosterone include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depressed mood, reduced muscle mass and strength, increased fat body mass and decreased bone mineral density.
Men with chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and asthma/COPD, are also more likely to have low testosterone compared to other men. Below normal levels of testosterone can be confirmed by a blood test. Testosterone treatment is designed to elevate a hypogonadal male's testosterone levels into the normal physiologic range, which may alleviate symptoms related to low testosterone. As with any medication, patients should work with their physician to weigh treatment benefits and risks.
-- Do not use androgen therapy if:
- You are a man with known or suspected prostate cancer, or if you have breast cancer.
- You are a woman who is breastfeeding, pregnant, or may become pregnant.
-- Patients treated with androgens may be at an increased risk for prostate cancer. Your doctor will likely monitor for prostate cancer before and during treatment with androgens.
-- Patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) who are treated with androgens are at an increased risk of worsening of BPH symptoms.