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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD000188.

Steroid sex hormones for lower limb atherosclerosis.

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1
Wolfson Unit for the Prevention of Peripheral Vascular Disesases, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Teviot Place, EDINBURGH, Scotland, UK, EH8 9AG.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is accumulating evidence that steroid sex hormones have a beneficial effect on a number of risk factors for peripheral arterial disease.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this review was to determine whether exogenous steroid sex hormones are an effective treatment for patients with lower limb atherosclerosis.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group trials register was searched, together with reference lists from relevant articles and reviews obtained through searches of Embase and Medline.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised controlled trials of steroid sex hormones in patients with lower limb atherosclerosis were selected.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Both reviewers extracted data and assessed trial quality independently. Whenever possible investigators were contacted to obtain information needed for the review that could not be found in published reports.

MAIN RESULTS:

Four trials appeared to meet the inclusion criteria, but one was excluded because of poor methodology and another is awaiting translation into English. The two remaining trials compared testosterone treatment with placebo in a total of 83 men with intermittent claudication. No trials were available which investigated the potentially beneficial effects of oestrogenic hormones in women with lower limb atherosclerosis. Testosterone therapy produced no improvement in tests of walking distance or in a variety of other objective tests for peripheral arterial disease, including venous filling time, muscle blood flow and plethysmography. The odds ratio for subjective improvement in symptoms using the combined trial results was also non-significant (odds ratio 1.28, 95% confidence interval 0.61 to 2.65).

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

There is no evidence to date that short-term testosterone treatment is beneficial in male subjects with lower limb atherosclerosis. However, this might reflect limited data rather than the lack of a real effect.

PMID:
10796504
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD000188
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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