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Rivista di Angiologia

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 2008 April;27(2):135-41


lingua: Inglese

Men with atherosclerotic stenosis of the carotid artery have lower testosterone levels compared with controls

Debing E. 1, Peeters E. 2, Duquet W. 3, Poppe K. 4, Velkeniers B. 4, Van Den Brande P. 1

1 Department of Vascular Surgery, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium 2 Department of Radiology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium 3 Department of Human Biometry and Biomechanics, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium 4 Department of Endocrinology,Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium


Aim. There is evidence to suggest an inverse association between serum levels of testosterone and coronary heart disease. The aim of this study was to compare endogenous sex hormone levels of men with severe internal carotid artery (ICA) atherosclerosis with age-matched controls.
Methods. Metabolic parameters and sex hormones were measured or calculated in 124 male patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy for high grade ICA stenosis and in 124 age-matched male controls. The presence or absence of atherosclerotic stenosis of ICA was determined by high resolution B-mode ultrasound.
Results. The cases had statistically significant lower le-vels of total testosterone (TT) (medians: 3.8 µg/L versus 4.3 µg/L, P=0.005) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) (means: 39.8±17.2 versus 54.3±34.3 nmol/L, P<0.001) compared to controls. Multivariate linear regression analysis, adjusted for all clinical and physiologic parameters, showed a significant inverse association between ICA stenosis and TT (β=-0.158, P=0.013) and SHBG (β=-0.259, P<0.001).
Conclusion. This study provides evidence of a positive association between low serum androgen levels and severe ICA atherosclerosis in men. It suggests that higher, but physiological, levels of androgens could have a protective role in the development of atherosclerosis.

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