A new study suggests that men with low testosterone levels have higher risk of developing heart disease.
Testosterone is a key sex hormone in men that helps in maintaining sex drive, production of sperm and bone health. The scientists say, lowering testosterone levels may contribute to an increase in body fat, loss of body hair and muscle bulk.
Lead author, Johannes Ruige, of Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, said, “When we reviewed the existing research into testosterone and cardiovascular disease, a growing body of evidence suggested a modest connection between the two. A specific pathogenesis did not come forward, but perhaps less frequently investigated events may play a role, such as thrombosis where a blood clot develops in the circulatory system or arrhythmia, where there is a problem with the heart beat or rate.
“Based on current findings, though, we cannot rule out that low testosterone and heart disease both result from poor overall health,” Ruige asserted.
During the study, the scientists reviewed findings from earlier studies on cardiovascular disease and testosterone published between 1970 and 2013.
Although the studies suggested some sort of relationship, the existing research found little evidence of a connection between low testosterone and artherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes. As these studies did not completely rule out some potential preceding causes of both low testosterone and cardiovascular disease, additional research is needed to confirm the relationship between the two conditions, Ruige said.
The study will be published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).