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More on Male Menopause - or Andropause

Not long after the OHPE Bulletin had a collection of resources related to Male Menopause and Men's Health (August 14, OHPE #66.2), the Globe and Mail newspaper had a feature in it's Saturday Focus section, covering two full pages on Male Menopause ("Man, oh man!" by Michael Valy Aug. 22, 1998).

As Bob Jeffrey, who originally asked about resources and organizations looking at men's health, this article and the resources noted in OHPE #66 "unfortunately they are really illness based, but such are things in the late nineties," rather than a broad view of well-being.

This fascinating article focused on changing levels of testosterone in men after the age of 40, and the effect it may have on energy, strength, moods, libido and more. There appears to be considerable

dispute over whether it is, or should be, a treatable condition. "The debate revolves around the nature of male aging and men's peculiar aversion to looking after their own health"

Of interest is the information of the First World Congress on the Aging Male, which will be followed by a second congress in the year 2000. "The First World Congress on the Aging Male was convened to analyze the impact on global public health-care systems of an aging population and the grim statistic that women outlive men, worldwide, by 4.9 years (seven years in Canada). The congress also wanted to see what medical interventions should be pursued."

"Thus 400 endocrinologists, urologists, epidemiologists, psychiatrists, cardiologists, family physicians and World Health Organization representatives from 42 countries gathered for four days in Geneva to

hear 300 papers on everything from testosterone replacement to erectile dysfunction, from osteoporosis to obesity, from mood changes to sleep deprivation to aging skin and muscle loss."

From Statistics Canada and other sources some interesting statistics (see the article for more):

Percentage of Canadian males with

- erectile dysfunction and heart disease: 52;

- high blood pressure: 33;

- diabetes: 36;

- depression: 13;

- severe stress: 17;

- enlarged prostate: 40

UBC's Dr.Richard Bebb says: "I don't think anyone really knows what the normal level of testosterone is in the aging male." Where there is total agreement is in the fact that health systems could be strained to the breaking point if they must treat many unhealthy aging males. "We're an aging population and we don't want everyone in a nursing home," says Dr. Bebb. "We want them to be able to walk two miles to a store."