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Hypertens Res. 2007 Nov;30(11):1029-34. doi: 10.1291/hypres.30.1029.

Low testosterone level is an independent determinant of endothelial dysfunction in men.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


We investigated whether a low plasma testosterone level is related to endothelial dysfunction in men with coronary risk factors. One hundred and eighty-seven consecutive male outpatients (mean age+/-SD: 47+/-15 years) who underwent measurement of flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery using ultrasonography were enrolled. The relationship between plasma hormones and FMD was analyzed. Total and free testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) were significantly correlated with %FMD (r=0.261, 0.354 and 0.295, respectively; p<0.001), while estradiol and cortisol were not. %FMD in the highest quartile of free testosterone was 1.7-fold higher than that in the lowest quartile. Multiple regression analysis revealed that total and free testosterone were related to %FMD independent of age, body mass index, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and smoking (beta=0.198 and 0.247, respectively; p<0.01), and were independent of age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, smoking and nitroglycerin-induced dilation (beta=0.196 and 0.227, respectively; p<0.01). DHEA-S was not significantly related to %FMD in multivariate analysis. In conclusion, a low plasma testosterone level was associated with endothelial dysfunction in men independent of other risk factors, suggesting a protective effect of endogenous testosterone on the endothelium.

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