Exercise performance in men with stable angina improved by testosterone over 12 month period
Long term benefits of testosterone therapy on angina threshold and atheroma in men. Mathur A, Malkin C, Saeed B et al. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2009;161;443 –449.
This was a double-blind, randomised, parallel group placebo-controlled trial involving a single centre study that investigated 13 (originally 15) hypogonadal men (mean T was 9.9nmol/l1) with stable angina on optimal anginal treatment randomised to Nebido 1000mg/3 months or placebo. Exercise (treadmill) testing was conducted at 3, 6, and 12 months after baseline tests along with metabolic parameters.
This was the first 12 months outcome study showing a sustained effect on time to ST depression.1
There were no adverse effects.1
What is known
Recent in vitro studies have demonstrated that testosterone inhibits L-type calcium channels and the authors of this study postulate that this may be the mechanism improving exercise time to ischaemia in anginal patients.1
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is strongly associated with Erectile Dysfunction (ED)2 and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome.3 Testosterone therapy may be an option to salvage patients who fail with PDE5Is.4 The same authors have shown decreased survival in CHD patients with low testosterone but long-term studies have yet to show that mortality is reduced by treating low testosterone in CHD patients.1
What this study adds
This is the first study to show improvement in exercise time to ischaemia with T supplementation improving up to 12 months. This was an additive benefit in patients optimally treated with anti-anginal therapy and the magnitude of effect was similar to nifedipine.1 There was no evidence of tachphyaxis.1
This is the first study to show effect of T on CIMT although the results were not clinically significant;1 more patients and longer studies are required. The metabolic benefits on BMI and waist circumference have been seen in many other studies.5 The important finding is that the significantly prolonged time to ischaemia was achieved1 in a stable group on optimal therapy. The effect was comparable to that seen with nifedipine.1