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Testosterone Therapy May Cut Heart Risk in Some Men

Update Date: Oct 23, 2013 05:40 PM EDT

Testosterone therapy may reduce risk of heart disease in some men.

Researchers from Boston University found that testosterone treatment in hypogonadal (testosterone deficient) men restores normal lipid profiles and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is often times associated with testosterone deficiency, is linked to a heightened risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus.

Previous studies revealed that hypogonadal men are more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome characterized by dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension. What's more obese and overweight men often show testosterone deficiency.

The latest study involved 255 hypogonadal men between the ages of 33 and 69. The men were given testosterone treatment and followed for a periods of five years.

Researchers found that men treated with testosterone therapy experienced gradual reduction of their total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL/bad cholesterol), triglycerides and increased high density lipoprotein (HDL/(good cholesterol).

"In addition to improving their cholesterol levels, we found that the testosterone treatment resulted in marked reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well, suggesting amelioration of hypertension," lead author Abdulmaged M. Traish, MBA, PhD, professor of biochemistry and urology as well as Research Director of the Institute of Sexual Medicine at BUSM, said in a news release

The study also revealed that testosterone treatment reduced fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c, a surrogate marker of hyperglycemia, suggesting that testosterone treatment may improve insulin sensitivity and hyperglycemic control. Testosterone treatment also lowered levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and markers of liver dysfunction such as alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase. Researchers said the findings suggest that testosterone therapy may also lower inflammation responses.

"These data are congruent with our previous work in which we reported that long-term testosterone resulted in a gradual decline in weight and waist circumference and strongly suggests that testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men may prove useful in reducing the risk of cardiometabolic diseases," he added.

The findings are published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

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