Editorial — July 19, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Vanity, thy name is men.

It’s hard not to shake your head at anyone who is declining to age with any kind of grace. That’s increasingly leading men of a certain age to chase their lost youth through the latest wonder drug, testosterone.

It’s not a choice many of them might have made if they had armed themselves with the complete story.

A recent Ontario study found that 28,477 men aged 66 and older received the drug between 1997 and 2012. That’s an astonishing 310 per cent increase, the journal PLOS ONE said last week.

That means one in 90 men in that age group are using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). And most aren’t using it for the right reason.

Testosterone is usually prescribed for hypogonadism, which occurs when the body doesn't produce enough of the drug on its own. Only about six per cent of the men were actually suffering from that condition.

The new wrinkle is that some drug companies are pushing TRT as the answer to several problems caused by aging, including a loss of libido, lack of energy, reduced muscle mass, mood swings and disturbed sleep.

That all sounds fine. But as always, the devil is in the details.

Some recent studies have linked the treatment to heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems in some men. The treatment can also impair the body’s natural ability to produce testosterone after the treatment ends.

Other side-effects can also include increased red blood cell production that thickens the blood, potentially leading to clots that can cause a stroke. It can increase prostate size. It also can aggravate sleep apnea, causing fatigue from disturbed sleep.

Experts say that belly fat can cause many of the same symptoms that are pushing men to TRT, suggesting that more exercise could produce the same result.

Both Canada and the U.S. are currently reviewing their guidelines for TRT. It’s a thought worth considering when you ask doctor about the wonder drug.

 

 

 

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If it seems like many people have been running in place for the last 40 years with wages, a Statistics Canada study confirmed it on Wednesday.

They looked at the average minimum wage in 2013, which was $10.14, and compared it to the minimum wage in 1975.

When they converted the 1975 wage to 2013 dollars, it turns out it was $10.13.

It shows that although the amount paid has changed, very little is different in the real purchasing power of those dollars.

And it isn’t just a few people affected. In 2013, 6.7 per cent of all paid employees earned the minimum wage in 2013.

Since Statistics Canada found in 2011 that about 18 million people drew a paycheque, it’s a number impacting more than a million Canadians.

And that ratio of minimum wage earners is up nearly two per cent since 1997, a stunning rise.

It’s also a reminder to the voices out there suggesting that minimum wages across Canada are skyrocketing out of control that they are in fact static in real dollars

 

Prince Albert Daily Herald

Organizations: Statistics Canada, Prince Albert, Daily Herald

Geographic location: Ontario, Canada, U.S.

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