Is It Dangerous To Have Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone can affect your general life, sexual life and overall the quality of life. Studies have shown that men with low testosterone levels have danger of deaths, heart attacks (myocardial infarctions MI) and stroke than men with normal testosterone levels. The exact mechanism of how testosterone cause death in unknown, studies suggests that death might have been due to cardiovascular diseases.
Many studies have shown that low testosterone causes various heart diseases and this is agreed by many doctors worldwide. Studies suggest low testosterone has the danger of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). Many patients with coronary artery disease are found to have low testosterone, but what is doubtful is whether low testosterone causes coronary artery disease or whether it is a consequence of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease and other heart diseases also can be due to the increased risk factors associated with low testosterone. What is unsure up to now is whether testosterone has a direct effect on the heart or is it because of the increased cardiovascular risk factors it causes cardiovascular diseases.
Recent studies show that testosterone levels have nothing to do with stroke and it is not a risk factor for stroke. This idea is still debatable and remains controversial.
Testosterone And Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Diabetes Mellitus. Low testosterone levels are associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Epidemiological studies show that low testosterone levels are an independent risk factor for T2DM. Many studies have shown that men with T2DM have low testosterone levels. Then studies done on men taking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has shown improved glycemic control by increase uptake of glucose by muscle cells and reduce the insulin resistance, it also improves hemoglobin A1c, and fasting plasma glucose as well.
Obesity. BMI has been shown to be inversely associated with testosterone levels and testosterone replacement therapy has shown to reduce the BMI significantly. Many studies have shown that low testosterone is associated with metabolic syndrome as well. The exact mechanism of how testosterone causes obesity is unknown.
Atherosclerosis. Studies have shown that low testosterone levels are associated with atherosclerosis in all major vessels in the body. Testosterone levels are inversely correlated to the degree of atherosclerosis in vessels.
Dyslipidemia. Some studies results shows that there is an association between low testosterone levels and dyslipidemia but some studies suggest that only the high-density lipoproteins are affected the other lipoproteins and triglycerides have no change. Association of testosterone replacement therapy and change in lipids level remains controversial too. Therefore, we cannot comment on the association between testosterone and lipids.
Hypertension. Some studies suggest that low testosterone levels are associated with hypertension, but the matter remains controversial.
Testosterone Deficiency And Cardiovascular Disease
Coronary Artery Disease. A study done in 2013 showed that lower levels of testosterone men are more prone to develop coronary artery disease during their lifetime. It also shows that the level of testosterone deficiency also has an impact on the severity of the coronary artery disease as well. Four studies have noted that the low testosterone levels inversely correlate with the coronary artery disease severity levels. However, the mechanism how testosterone causes coronary artery disease is unknown. Testosterone replacement therapy has shown to dilate the vessels (vasodilator effect), increase myocardial perfusion, a direct effect on myocardial oxygen consumption and membrane repolarization. So, it might be through these mechanism testosterone reduce coronary artery disease.
Congestive Heart Failure. Current evidence suggest that there can be other mechanisms as well which cause congestive heart failure (CHF), a study done on 208 men with CHF and 366 healthy males showed that low testosterone levels were found in all NYHA classes of heart failure. It also showed that reduced testosterone levels are associated with poor prognosis of congestive heart failure and increased mortality.
Studies have shown that men with low testosterone levels have dangers of deaths, heart attacks (myocardial infarctions [MI]) and stroke than men with normal testosterone levels. The exact mechanism of how testosterone causes death in unknown, studies suggests that death might have been due to cardiovascular diseases. Low testosterone is associated with most of the cardiovascular risk factors like type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. Association between dyslipidemia and hypertension remains controversial.
It is also associated with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Low testosterone levels have a major impact on cardiovascular disease. Recent studies shows that testosterone levels are not associated with stroke. This idea is still debatable and remains controversial.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2022). Testosterone and the heart. Harvard Health. Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/testosterone-and-the-heart
- Mayo Clinic. (2022). Testosterone therapy: Potential benefits and risks as you age. Mayo Clinic. Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/expert-answers/testosterone-therapy/faq-20420027
- WebMD. (2022). Low testosterone (Low-T) and men’s health. WebMD. Source: https://www.webmd.com/men/ss/slideshow-low-testosterone-overview
- American Heart Association. (2022). Low testosterone and cardiovascular risk. American Heart Association. Source: https://www.heart.org/en/news/2021/10/12/low-testosterone-and-cardiovascular-risk