Androgens in men study (AIMS): Protocol for meta-analyses of individual participant data investigating associations of androgens with health outcomes in men

Bu Beng Yeap, Ross James Marriott, Robert J. Adams, Leen Antonio, Christie M. Ballantyne, Shalender Bhasin, Peggy M. Cawthon, David John Couper, Adrian S. Dobs, Leon Flicker, Magnus Karlsson, Sean A. Martin, Alvin M. Matsumoto, Dan Mellström, Paul E. Norman, Claes Ohlsson, Eric S. Orwoll, Terence W. O'Neill, Molly M. Shores, Thomas G. TravisonDirk Vanderschueren, Gary A. Wittert, Frederick C.W. Wu, Kevin Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction This study aims to clarify the role(s) of endogenous sex hormones to influence health outcomes in men, specifically to define the associations of plasma testosterone with incidence of cardiovascular events, cancer, dementia and mortality risk, and to identify factors predicting testosterone concentrations. Data will be accrued from at least three Australian, two European and four North American population-based cohorts involving approximately 20 000 men. Methods and analysis Eligible studies include prospective cohort studies with baseline testosterone concentrations measured using mass spectrometry and 5 years of follow-up data on incident cardiovascular events, mortality, cancer diagnoses or deaths, new-onset dementia or decline in cognitive function recorded. Data for men, who were not taking androgens or drugs suppressing testosterone production, metabolism or action; and had no prior orchidectomy, are eligible. Systematic literature searches were conducted from 14 June 2019 to 31 December 2019, with no date range set for searches. Aggregate level data will be sought where individual participant data (IPD) are not available. One-stage IPD random-effects meta-analyses will be performed, using linear mixed models, generalised linear mixed models and either stratified or frailty-augmented Cox regression models. Heterogeneity in estimates from different studies will be quantified and bias investigated using funnel plots. Effect size estimates will be presented in forest plots and non-negligible heterogeneity and bias investigated using subgroup or meta-regression analyses. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approvals obtained for each of the participating cohorts state that participants have consented to have their data collected and used for research purposes. The Androgens In Men Study has been assessed as exempt from ethics review by the Human Ethics office at the University of Western Australia (file reference number RA/4/20/5014). Each of the component studies had obtained ethics approvals; please refer to respective component studies for details. Research findings will be disseminated to the scientific and broader community via the publication of four research articles, with each involving a separate set of IPD meta-analyses (articles will investigate different, distinct outcomes), at scientific conferences and meetings of relevant professional societies. Collaborating cohort studies will disseminate findings to study participants and local communities. PROSPERO registration number CRD42019139668.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere034777
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 11 2020


  • epidemiology
  • general endocrinology
  • sex steroids & HRT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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