Aortic stiffness is increased in patients with low testosterone levels

June 2013

Arterial stiffness contributes to cardiovascular conditions that can increase the risk of mortality. Sex hormones have been suggested to play a role in vascular function and in this study the elastic properties of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) in men with low blood levels of testosterone (hypogonadism) were compared with those of a control group who naturally produce normal levels of testosterone.

Key findings

  • Patients with hypogonadism had increased arterial stiffness and there was a significant correlation between elastic properties of the aorta and the total testosterone level
  • Future large-scale, well designed, studies would be useful to determine the predictive importance of aortic stiffness in patients with hypogonadism 
    • Such studies may lead to the investigation of hormone replacement therapy on affecting aortic elasticity

Impaired aortic elastic properties in patients with adult-onset hypogonadism.

Canpolat U, Tokgözoğlu L, Aydin K, Dural M, Gϋrses KM, Yorgun H, et al. Blood Press 2013;22:114–9.

Background information

It is known that low testosterone levels in men are strongly associated with a number of conditions including obesity, diabetesmetabolic syndrome, vascular disease and arterial stiffness. Furthermore, testosterone has also been shown to influence a number of mechanisms that contribute to age-related dysfunction of the lining of arteries. There is also evidence that stiffness in large arteries independently predicts cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, few studies had previously investigated the association between testosterone blood levels and arterial stiffness.