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Have a low sex drive? You may be depressed

The study, which found that men with lower testosterone are at a higher risk of being depressed than those of the general population, could now make doctors screen men with low testosterone for depression as well.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 02, 2015 16:34 IST
A-new-study-found-that-lower-testosterone-could-lead-to-derpression-in-men-and-has-opened-the-possibility-for-screening-men-for-depression-if-detected-with-low-testosterone-Shutterstock
A-new-study-found-that-lower-testosterone-could-lead-to-derpression-in-men-and-has-opened-the-possibility-for-screening-men-for-depression-if-detected-with-low-testosterone-Shutterstock

Lower levels of testosterone not only affects your sex life but could also lead to depression, says a new research.

The research published in the journal of Sexual Medicine finds that men with low levels of testosterone are at increased risk of suffering from depression than those of the general population.

The research involves 200 adult men, aged 20-77, with a mean age of 48 years old, who were referred for borderline total testosterone levels between 200 and 350 ng/dL (nanograms per decilitre). A total of 56% of the participants have depression or depressive symptoms, find the researchers.

"In an era where more and more men are being tested for Low T - or lower levels of testosterone - there is very little data about the men who have borderline low testosterone levels," says lead researcher Michael Irwig, associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University.

"We felt it important to explore the mental health of this population," Irwig adds.

Furthermore, one quarter of the men in the study are taking antidepressants and men have high rates of obesity and low rates of physical activity.

The most common symptoms are erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, fewer morning erections, low energy, and sleep disturbances.

The results suggest that doctors should consider screening for depression and depressive symptoms, overweight and unhealthy lifestyle factors in men who are referred for tertiary care for potential hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone.