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Monday, 21 August, 2000, 05:55 GMT 06:55 UK
Male menopause to be studied
Man being checked out
Volunteers can be hard to find
A series of tests to prove that men suffer from the menopause in middle age as much as women is being planned by a Scottish university.

There has been doubt in the medical profession about claims of a male menopause.

But the Aberdeen University study aims to prove it is not a phenomenon unique to women.

Men aged between 40 and 70 who claim to be affected by the condition will receive hormone replacement injections on a three-monthly basis.

The results of the HRT treatment will be compared with another group of men - who also display menopause-like symptoms - to gauge its effect.

If the symptoms are alleviated by the injections researchers believe they will have taken a step towards proving men also go through a menopause.

Researcher at work
The results will be compared with a control group
Professor IIpo Huhtaniemi, Aberdeen University professor of reproductive science, said he was convinced the male menopause - or andropause as it is medically known - is a valid condition.

He said: "I believe the study we plan to undertake early next year will help to finally prove that men suffer in the same way as women.

"I do not think we will have any bother getting Scots to come forward."

Prof Huhtaniemi said menopausal symptoms were often difficult to pin down, which meant selecting suitable patients for trials was often difficult.

He said: "The problem in previous studies has been how to select the most suitable patients since the diagnostic criteria of andropause are still a bit vague.

Testosterone

"We try to redefine the diagnostics in a scientific manner before offering treatment."

He added: "Those who hold an opposite view have grounds for believing so, that is why we need better research and testing."

US experts Carl Heller and Gordon Myers trialled testosterone treatments in the 1940s, but since then most research has concentrated on the problems experienced by women.

The female menopause can lead to mood swings and sudden changes in behaviour and temperament.

Andropause is thought to be caused by a decline in hormones, primarily testosterone, and the extent to which this causes the man to age depends largely on his lifestyle.

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See also:

29 Jun 00 | Health
Pill project to delay menopause
21 Jun 00 | Health
Doctors call for better male HRT
15 May 00 | Health
Health - how men suffer
17 Apr 00 | Health
HRT 'reduces heart disease risk'
25 Mar 00 | Health
Hope for 'male menopause'
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