Effects of chronic testosterone administration on myocardial ischemia, lipid metabolism and insulin resistance in elderly male diabetic patients with coronary artery disease

Alessandra Cornoldi, Giuseppe Caminiti, Giuseppe Marazzi, Cristiana Vitale, Roberto Patrizi, Maurizio Volterrani, Marco Miceli, Massimo Fini, Giovanni Spera, Giuseppe Rosano

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Background: The evidence of antiatherogenic and vasodilatatory effects of testosterone (T) suggest a possible role of the lack of this hormone in the development and pathophysiology of coronary artery disease (CAD). Aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of oral administration of testosterone undecanoate during a period of three months on serum lipid levels and on the occurrence of anginal attacks and daily ischemic episodes in patients with CAD. Methods and results: Eighty seven (87) diabetic male subjects (mean age: 74 ± 7 years) with proven CAD were randomized to a 12 week treatment with either T undecanoate (40 mg administered three daily) or placebo (P) in a double blind protocol. Weekly episodes of angina attacks, number of ischemic episodes daily and total ischemic burden on ambulatory ECG Holter were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study. Serum total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were also measured at the same time points. Compared to P, T significantly reduced the number of anginal attacks/weeks of 34% (p <0.05); the silent ischemic episodes of 26% (p <0.05), and the total ischemic burden of 21% (p <0.05) on ambulatory ECG monitoring. After 12 weeks total cholesterol, plasma triglycerides and HOMA index were significantly reduced in the T group compared to P group. Conclusions: Three months administration of T has beneficial effect on serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients with CAD and reduces the number of anginal attacks, and ischemic episodes. These effect may be related to the metabolic and vasoactive properties of the hormone. Further studies are needed in order to assess the long term relevance of these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 25 2010



  • Coronary disease
  • Diabetes
  • Elderly male
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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