Introduction: The role of testosterone in health and quality of life has become increasingly visible and overtly marketed to the public. Some evidence suggests that testosterone levels in men may be low because of a variety of reasons, including stress and environmental exposures. Objective: This study examines trends in testosterone prescriptions dispensed by military treatment facilities (MTFs). Methods: We examined data from the Department of Defense Pharmacy Data Transaction Service to determine the nature of androgen prescriptions dispensed through MTFs from 2007 through 2011. Results: The number of androgen prescriptions increased more than two-fold across the military from 19,494 in 2007 to 45,270 in 2011. Most prescriptions (99%) were for men. Androgen prescription rates rose 23% per year from 2007 through 2011 (p < 0.001, CI 23-24%). The prescription rate for 35- to 44-year-olds increased more than any other age group, with annual increases averaging 33% (p < 0.001, CI 32-34%). Conclusion: The number of androgen prescriptions within MTFs rose significantly from 2007 through 2011. This is similar to rises in androgen prescriptions seen in civilian medical systems. Clinical indications for the sharp increase in testosterone prescriptions are unknown, and the indications for clinically appropriate testosterone replacement need further clarification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health