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January 11, 2012

Cardiovascular Benefits Of Testosterone

Cardiovascular Benefits of Testosterone: It’s in the Journals

Not too long ago I had a patient whose cardiologist recommended that he not receive testosterone therapy for his testosterone deficiency. Yet, there are many cardiovascular benefits of testosterone unknown to many physicians. Let’s take a look at the medical literature and see if this patient received wise advise from his cardiologist. Let’s look at the cardiovascular benefits of testosterone.

I’m going to review 5 articles published in Circulation, a major peer-reviewed journal read by most cardiologists.

Endogenous Testosterone and Mortality Due to All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer in Men: European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) Prospective Populations Study by Khaw, et al. Circulation 2007, 116:2694-2701. Click here to go to article.

This study showed that lower endogenous testosterone levels in men are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer with men with lowest testosterone levels 25% to 30% more likely to die than men with testosterone levels in the upper range of reference range.

Acute Anti-Ischemic Effect of Testosterone in Men With Coronary Artery Disease  by Rosano et al. Circulation 1999;99:1666-1670. Click here to go to article.

This study showed that there is a beneficial effect on exercise-induced myocardial ischemia (lack of blood flow) from short-term testosterone administration. This was felt to be the result of direct relaxing effects of testosterone on blood vessels.  Keep in mind that testosterone increases nitric oxide levels which is a potent vasodilator improving blood flow. Testosterone was injected intravenously in this study.

Low-Dose Transdermal Testosterone Therapy Improves Angina Threshold in Men With Chronic Stable Angina: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study by English, et al. Circulation 2000, 102:1906-1911. Click here to go to article.

In men with chronic stable angina (chest pain episodes) low dose transdermal testosterone reduces exercise-induced myocardial ischemia. Similar findings as above study, but testosterone was administered as a topical.

Endogenous Sex Hormones and Progression of Carotid Atherosclerosis in Elderly Men by Muller, et al. Circulation 2004, 109:2074-2079. Click here to go to article.

This study showed that lower levels of sex hormones including testosterone were associated with thickening of the inner layers of the walls of the carotid artery increasing risk of atherosclerosis.

Testosterone Making an Entry Into the Cardiometabolic World by Basaria and Dobs, Circulation 2007, 116:2658-2661. Click here to go to article.

This is an editorial summarizing the adverse effects of hypogonadism or low testosterone on the cardiovascular system. Low testosterone can raise other risk factors for cardiovascular disease: hypertension, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia (cholesterol), metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, increase blood vessel stiffness, increased cytokines (inflammation triggers).

Conclusion: Cardiovascular Benefits of Testosterone

This is just a sampling of articles published in the cardiovascular literature demonstrating the cardiovascular benefits of testosterone. If you need more evidence to convince you of the cardiovascular benefits of testosteorne you can find several more articles. Just click here and download the PDF “White Paper Guidance for Physicians on Hormone Replacement Therapy”.

Despite all these studies that illustrate the cardiovascular benefits of testosterone most physicians are either not reading the literature or unfortunately are still drawing conclusions and extrapolating from the abuse of anabolic steroids in sports that are used in supra-physiologic doses rather than physiologic doses of testosterone used for medical problems.

See related articles.

“Cardiovascular Disease Linked to Treatments that Lower Testosterone”

“Erectile Dysfunction”

“Testosterone Therapy”

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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