Glycemic benefits with adherence to testosterone therapy in men with hypogonadism and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Craig R. Jenkins*, Alex Rittel, Rodney X. Sturdivant, Jen Wan, Philip G. Clerc, Evan Manning, Lydia M. Jenkins, Jana L. Wardian, Sky D. Graybill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: While previous studies have demonstrated testosterone's beneficial effects on glycemic control in men with hypogonadism and Type 2 Diabetes, the extent to which these improvements are observed based on the degree of treatment adherence has been unclear. Objectives: To evaluate the effects of long-term testosterone therapy in A1C levels in men with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and hypogonadism, controlling for BMI, pre-treatment A1C, and age among different testosterone therapy adherence groups. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 1737 men with diabetes and hypogonadism on testosterone therapy for 5 years of data from 2008–2018, isolating A1C, lipid panels, and BMI results for analysis. Subjects were categorized into adherence groups based on quartiles of the proportion of days covered (> 75% of days, 51–75% of days, 26–50% of days and 0–25% of days), with >75% of days covered considered adherent to therapy. Results: Pre-treatment median A1C was 6.8%. Post-treatment median A1C was 7.1%. The adherent group, >75%, was the only group notable for a decrease in A1C, with a median decrease of −0.2 (p = 0.0022). BMI improvement was associated with improved post-treatment A1C (p = 0.007). When controlling for BMI, age, and pre-treatment A1C, the >75% adherence group was associated with improved post-treatment A1C (p < 0.001). Discussion: When controlling for all studied variables, testosterone adherence was associated with improved post-treatment A1C. The higher the initial A1C at the initiation of therapy, the higher the potential for lowering the patient's A1C with >75% adherence. Further, all groups showed some reduction in BMI, which may indicate that testosterone therapy may affect A1C independent of weight loss. Conclusion: Even when controlling for improved BMI, pre-treatment A1C, and age, testosterone positively impacted glycemic control in diabetes patients with hypogonadism, with the most benefit noted in those most adherent to therapy (>75%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1085
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • hypogonadism
  • testosterone treatment
  • type 2 diabetes


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