Diabetes Health MagazineNews

Low Testosterone And Diabetes Hike Heart Disease Risk In Men

The double whammy of both low testosterone and diabetes may significantly elevate men’s risk of clogged arteries, a new study shows.

According to the American Diabetes Association, men with diabetes are twice as likely to have low testosterone as those without diabetes, so there is already an association between the two.

Previous studies have linked both conditions to atherosclerosis, but this study from Argentina is among the first to address how the combination of both increases the risks to heart health. It included 115 men with type 2 diabetes. A third if the subjects had low testosterone, while two thirds had normal testosterone levels. None of the men had a history of heart disease.

According to the research team from the Hospital Universitario Sanatorio Guemes in Buenos Aires, men with both type 2 and low testosterone were six times more likely to have thickened carotid arteries – the vessels that supply blood to the brain. If the walls of the carotid arteries become too thick, limited blood flow can trigger a stroke.

Researchers also found that men with both conditions were six times more likely to have buildup of the inner linings of their blood vessels, which could lead to potentially deadly blockages.

“We still need to determine whether testosterone is directly involved in the development of atherosclerosis or if it is merely an indicator of advanced disease,” said Dr. Javier M. Farias in a press release. “This study is a stepping stone to better understanding the risks of cardiovascular events in men who have both low testosterone and type 2 diabetes.”

The research appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In recent years, several studies have suggested that testosterone therapy, commonly used to boost low levels, may increase the risk of heart attack. The results suggest that additional research is needed to pinpoint the relationship between testosterone levels and cardiovascular health.

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