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J Geriatr Cardiol. 2011 Mar;8(1):35-43. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1263.2011.00035.

Andropause and the development of cardiovascular disease presentation-more than an epi-phenomenon.

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1
Cedars Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Suite 6215, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA; Cenegenics Medical Institute, 851 Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89145, USA.

Abstract

Andropause refers to a generalized decline of male hormones, including testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in middle-aged and aging men. This decline in hormones has been associated with changes such as depression, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, and changes in body composition. Aging has been associated with an abundance of concomitant diseases, in particular cardiovascular diseases, and although andropause is correlated to aging, a causal relationship between reduction of androgens and the development of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart failure has not been convincingly established yet. On the other hand, increasing data has emerged that revealed the effects of low levels of androgens on cardiovascular disease progression. As an example, low levels of testosterone have been linked to a higher incidence of coronary artery disease. Whether hormone replacement therapy that is used for andropausal men to alleviate symptoms of "male menopause" can halt progression of cardiovascular disease, remains controversially discussed, primarily due to the lack of well-designed, randomized controlled trials. At least for symptom improvement, the use of androgen replacement therapy in andropausal men may be clinically indicated, and with the appropriate supervision and follow up may prove to be beneficial with regard to preservation of the integrity of cardiovascular health at higher ages.

KEYWORDS:

age; androgen; andropause; heart disease; heart failure; hormone therapy; testosterone

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