Professor Hugh Jones is Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Barnsley Hospital. He and his team have made several world first discoveries in an area of cardiovascular disease relating to type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease – with or without type 2 diabetes – is a major cause of heart attacks, stroke and death in the western world. A man is more likely to have and die prematurely from these conditions than women. The exact scientific reasons for this difference have not been explained.

Throughout the last 20 years, Professor Jones and his team have been researching the effect of testosterone deficiency and testosterone replacement therapy in patients. They have studied how this impacts on patients’ symptoms, type 2 diabetes, lifespan and quality of life. They also looked at the effect on cardiovascular disease – the disease process which causes heart attack, angina, stroke and heart failure.

The research has reported several world firsts. The first finding was that symptomatic testosterone deficiency was very common in men with type 2 diabetes with 40% suffering and most previously not diagnosed.

The major problem in type 2 diabetes is that the insulin produced which allows glucose uptake into the body’s cells is not able to work very effectively (insulin resistance). Professor Jones and his team were first to show that replacing testosterone improved the way insulin worked resulting in lowering of blood glucose levels.

Furthermore, it was shown that type 2 diabetic men with testosterone deficiency had more than twice the risk of early death compared to those men with normal testosterone and type 2 diabetes. Men who had received testosterone replacement had the same survival rates after six years as those with normal testosterone levels.

Helping patients globally

Research in collaboration with cardiology in Sheffield showed that testosterone therapy improves angina, heart failure is protective against the early development of atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease).

This research has led to Barnsley having an international reputation for research in this area of medicine. This work has not only improved the care of patients in Barnsley but also throughout the world.

Professor Jones is involved in the production of British and European clinical guidelines for the management of testosterone deficiency in men. He has been a member of International Consensus meetings on testostyeroen. On behalf of the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists he is setting up and leading a UK Nationwide Audit of ‘Testosterone in Type 2 Diabetes’. He is also a founder member of a new international medical society ‘The Androgen Society’ for which he has recently been appointed Vice-President.

  • Professor Jones is also Honorary Professor of Andrology (study of men’s health) at the University of Sheffield. He was appointed in 1998 in addition to his role as an NHS consultant to develop a programme of academic research to improve patient care. His research has been both clinical and laboratory based allowing him to study disease from cells through to patient populations.