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Diabetic Men with Low Testosterone at Increased Risk for Heart Disease

Update Date: Oct 18, 2014 07:44 PM EDT
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Diabetic men with low testosterone levels are at higher risk of heart attacks, a new study warns.

The study conducted by researchers at the Hospital Universitario Sanatorio Guemes in Argentina, involved 115 men with type-2 diabetes aged under-70 but without any history of cardiovascular problems. Serum testosterone levels were determined in the participants. When compared to men with normal levels of testosterone, researchers found that men with low testosterone levels were six times more likely to develop thickened of carotid artery and endothelium dysfunction, Yahoo News reported.

"Our study indicates a strong association between low testosterone concentration and the severity of atherosclerotic plaques as well as other key atherosclerotic markers in middle-aged men with Type 2 diabetes. The results of our study advance our understanding of the interplay between low testosterone and cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes," said one of the study's authors, Javier Mauricio Farias.

Further reporting on the study, Financial Express pointed out that 54 percent of the participants with low testosterone and 10 percent with normal testosterone levels were at increased risk of developing heart disease.

"We still need to determine whether testosterone is directly involved in the development of atherosclerosis or if it is merely an indicator of advanced disease," Farias said, according to Financial Express.

The researchers specified that low testosterone in diabetic men causes formation of plaques in the arteries, which are essentially build up of fat and cholesterol, in turn leading to increased arterial thickness. Called atherosclerosis, it cause blocks which can lead to heart attacks by preventing nutrient blood supply to the vessels nourishing the heart.  

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

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