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Drugs Aging. 2008;25(5):357-69.

Androgen deficiency as a predictor of metabolic syndrome in aging men: an opportunity for intervention?

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Robert Hague Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK.


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is increasing globally and is an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Longitudinal population studies have found that low testosterone status in men is a risk factor for the later development of metabolic syndrome. Men with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus have a higher incidence of hypotestosteronaemia. Furthermore, in men, testosterone levels are inversely associated with the degree of carotid and aortic atherosclerosis. Early interventional, short-term studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy has a beneficial effect on visceral obesity, insulin sensitivity, glycaemic control and lipid profiles in men with diagnosed hypogonadism with and without diabetes. The effect of testosterone therapy on atherogenesis in men is unknown; however, animal studies have shown that testosterone is atheroprotective and can ameliorate the degree of atherosclerosis. Testosterone is an arterial vasodilator and has been shown to improve myocardial ischaemia in men with coronary artery disease. This review discusses the role that testosterone may play in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome in men and also examines the potential role of testosterone replacement therapy in this condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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