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Atherosclerosis. 1996 Aug 23;125(1):1-13.

The relationship of natural androgens to coronary heart disease in males: a review.

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Center for Clinical and Basic Research, Ballerup, Denmark.


Published studies dealing with the relationship between circulating levels of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (sulfate) (DHEA(S)) and coronary heart disease (CHD) in males, as well as corresponding experimental animal studies are reviewed. One randomized intervention study, eight prospective and 30 cross-sectional studies have evaluated this relationship. In the intervention study, testosterone undecanoate given orally significantly improved angina pectoris in 62 patients with CHD as compared to placebo. No significant association between serum testosterone and CHD was reported in the prospective studies, whereas those studies concerning DHEAS found either no or an inverse association with CHD. Of 30 cross-sectional studies, 18 reported reduced concentrations of testosterone (primarily), and/or DHEA(S) in CHD patients as compared to normals, 11 found similar circulating levels of these androgens in controls and patients with CHD, and one study found elevated levels of DHEA(S) in patients. Animal studies (six male rabbits and one in male chicks) suggest an anti-atherogenic effect of testosterone and DHEA. In conclusion, one intervention, eight cohort and several cross-sectional studies suggest either a neutral or a favourable effect of testosterone and DHEA(S) on CHD in males.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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