Effectiveness of testosterone therapy in obese men with low testosterone levels, for losing weight, controlling obesity complications, and preventing cardiovascular events: Protocol of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

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Background:The use of testosterone replacement therapy in obese men with low testosterone levels has been controversial. This review aims to analyze the effectiveness of testosterone therapy for weight loss and preventing cardiovascular complications in obese men with low testosterone levels.Methods:We will perform a systematic review according to Cochrane Methodology of randomized studies, including crossover studies, wherein patients are allocated into one of the two groups: testosterone therapy and control (no treatment or placebo). The primary outcomes analyzed will be: weight loss, adverse events, quality of life, improvement of libido, control of obesity complications, frequency of cardiovascular events, and deaths. Four general and adaptive search strategies have been created for the following electronic health databases: Embase, Medline, LILACS, and CENTRAL. Two reviewers will independently select the eligible studies, assess the risk of bias, and extract the data from included studies. Similar outcomes measured in at least two trials will be plotted in the meta-analysis using Review Manager 5.3. The quality of evidence of the effect estimate of the intervention for the outcomes that could be plotted in the meta-analysis will be generated according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group.Results:Although testosterone replacement seems to be an attractive treatment modality for obese men with low testosterone, its potential benefits has been refuted by some studies, whose results have not shown significant differences between treated and untreated patients.Conclusion:For obese men with low testosterone concentrations, the proposed systematic review aims to answer the following questions: When compared with no treatment or placebo: Is testosterone therapy safe? Is testosterone therapy effective in promoting weight loss, a sustained reduction in body weight and changes in body composition? Is testosterone effective in improving quality of life, libido, and erectile function? Is testosterone therapy effective in controlling obesity complications and in preventing cardiovascular events?

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