Weight loss more than glycemic control may improve testosterone in obese type 2 diabetes mellitus men with hypogonadism

Vito Angelo Giagulli, Marco Castellana, Matteo Domenico Carbone, Carla Pelusi, Maria Isabella Ramunni, Giovanni De Pergola, Edoardo Guastamacchia, Vincenzo Triggiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Functional hypogonadism is a common disorder among patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus and could be managed by first treating the underlying causes. Objective: The present study was undertaken to investigate the contribution of body weight and glycemic control to the reversibility of hypogonadism to eugonadism in a real-life setting. Materials and methods: Adult obese male patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, complaining of mild to moderate erectile dysfunction and suspected of functional hypogonadism evaluated at our institution from 2015 to 2017, were retrospectively included. The gonadal status 3 and 12 months after the glucose-lowering medication prescription was assessed. Results: Seventy-one consecutive patients were enrolled, with 24 (34%) of them achieving total testosterone ≥300 ng/dL (10.4 nM/L) at the end of the study. When they were stratified according to HbA1c and body weight loss, a direct correlation was found for the latter only. Particularly, 94% of patients achieving a body weight loss >10% presented with total testosterone ≥300 ng/dL. An inverse correlation was found for HbA1c, with no higher prevalence of total testosterone ≥300 ng/dL in patients with HbA1c <6.5%. Discussion: The findings are strengthened by the rigorous study design. However, a limited number of patients and glucose-lowering medications could be included. Conclusions: The present study supports the hypothesis that in obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus losing weight may have a greater impact on androgens compared to improving glycemic control. Further prospective studies are needed to corroborate this finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-662
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020


  • erectile dysfunction
  • functional hypogonadism
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Urology


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