Vascular Aging & Oxidative Stress are Associated with Testosterone Levels in Men

Vascular Aging  Oxidative Stress are Associate Testosterone Levels in Men
Vascular aging along with oxidative stress and inflammation increase the risk for age-associated cardiovascular disease (CVD). Low testosterone in middle-aged/older men is also associated with increased CVD risk. Thus, Dr. Moreau from University of Colorado Anschutz and her team  hypothesized that low testosterone contributes to age-associated endothelial dysfunction, related in part to greater oxidative stress and inflammation.

This cross-sectional study included 58 healthy, nonsmoking men categorized as young (N = 20; age 29 ± 4 years; testosterone 500 ± 58 ng/dL), middle-aged/older with higher testosterone (N = 20; age 60 ± 6 years; testosterone 512 ± 115 ng/dL), and middle-aged/older lower testosterone (N = 18; age 59 ± 8 years; testosterone 269 ± 48 ng/dL). Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMDBA) was measured during acute infusion of saline (control) and vitamin C (antioxidant). Markers of oxidative stress (total antioxidant status and oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), inflammation (interleukin [IL]-6 and C-reactive protein [CRP]), and androgen deficiency symptoms were also examined.

  • During saline, FMDBA was reduced in middle-aged/older compared with young, regardless of testosterone status (P < 0.001). FMDBA was reduced in middle-aged/older lower testosterone (3.7% ± 2.0%) compared with middle-aged/older higher testosterone (5.7% ± 2.2%; P = 0.021), independent of symptoms.
  • Vitamin C increased FMDBA (to 5.3% ± 1.6%; P = 0.022) in middle-aged/older lower testosterone but had no effect in young (P = 0.992) or middle-aged/older higher testosterone (P = 0.250).
  • FMDBA correlated with serum testosterone (r = 0.45; P < 0.001), IL-6 (r = −0.41; P = 0.002), and CRP (r = −0.28; P = 0.041).

In summary, Healthy middle-aged/older men with low testosterone appear to have greater age-associated endothelial dysfunction, related in part to greater oxidative stress and inflammation. These data suggest that low testosterone concentrations may contribute to accelerated vascular aging in men.

Article DOI.

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