Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: Dr Danby suggests low testosterone
level as a possible cause of this patient's depression and associated symptoms.
The endocrine disorder most commonly purported to be a secondary cause of
depression is hypothyroidism and, even here, the evidence is inconclusive.1 Depression is common in older men, and there are
inadequate data to indicate how often low testosterone levels would be the
cause. I agree that if decreased libido is a primary symptom and, in particular,
if the major depressive disorder does not readily respond to antidepressant
treatment or psychotherapy, an evaluation for hypogonadism might be appropriate.
Even in women, in whom perimenopausal mood disorders have been an important
consideration, the relationship between depressive disorders and estrogen
deficiency is uncertain.2
Kroenke K. Depression in an Elderly Man—Reply. JAMA. 2002;287(24):3210-3211. doi:10.1001/jama.287.24.3206