Hypogonadism in Men with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Prevalence and Quality of Life

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We recently reported that hypogonadism does not affect respiratory muscle performance and exercise capacity in men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In COPD, however, the relationship between exercise capacity and quality of life is controversial, making it unreliable to extrapolate about quality of life from exercise data. Accordingly, we determined prevalence and impact of hypogonadism on health-related quality of life in men with COPD. We enrolled 101 stable outpatient men (FEV1 1.34 ± 0.04 L) older than 54 years; 38 patients were hypogonadal—a prevalence similar to that reported in the general population. The degree of airflow limitation did not predict levels of free testosterone. Quality of life, as quantified by a disease-specific instrument (St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire) and a general-health instrument (Veterans Short Form-36) were equivalent in the hypogonadal and eugonadal groups. Both groups demonstrated large decrements in perceived physical health and smaller decrements in perceived emotional and mental health. No relationship was found between free testosterone level and physical activity, respiratory symptoms, or quality of life. In conclusion, hypogonadism, although common among men older than 54 years with COPD, does not worsen the severity of respiratory symptoms or quality of life.

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