Assessing men with opioid use disorder for testosterone deficiency after the development of symptoms

Bhavna Bali, Wen Jan Tuan, Alyssa Scott, Pooja Bollampally, Destin Groff, Shou Ling Leong, Van L. King, Curtis Bone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) have reduced life expectancy and inferior outcomes when treated for depression, diabetes, and fractures. Their elevated risk of testosterone deficiency may contribute to all of these relationships, however few individuals prescribed opioids are evaluated with testosterone assays. The purpose of this study is to determine whether patients with opioid use disorder are evaluated for testosterone deficiency after development of a symptom that may merit investigation, such as erectile dysfunction (ED). Method: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal cohort study that utilized data from a national database called TriNetX. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they were 20 to 90 years of age, male, and diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. We utilized descriptive statistics and logistic regression to address study aims. Results: Testosterone testing was uncommon for all patients with ED. Among 20,658 patients, it was assessed in 11.2% with OUD and 15.1% without OUD. Among those screened, 40% individuals with OUD and ED had testosterone deficiency. Odds of screening those with OUD were lower than matched controls (RR 0.74). Conclusions: Individuals with OUD are at increased risk of testosterone deficiency than the general population, but nearly 90% are not evaluated for this condition even after development symptoms. That 40% of individuals assessed were classified as testosterone deficient suggests endocrine disorders may be contributing to increased fracture risk, chronic pain, and severe depression commonly encountered in patients with OUD. Addressing this care gap may reduce morbidity and mortality associated with opioid use disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • ED
  • OUD
  • Opioid use disorder
  • endocrine
  • endocrinopathy
  • erectile dysfunction
  • hypogonadism
  • opioid
  • screening
  • sex hormone
  • testosterone
  • testosterone deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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