Effects of CPAP on Testosterone Levels in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Meta-Analysis Study

Angelo Cignarelli, Marco Castellana, Giorgio Castellana, Sebastio Perrini, Francesco Brescia, Annalisa Natalicchio, Gabriella Garruti, Luigi Laviola, Onofrio Resta, Francesco Giorgino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) represents a frequent complication among patients with obesity and has been associated with neuroendocrine changes, including hypogonadism. Objective: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on testosterone and gonadotropins in male patients with OSA. Methods: The review was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42018103164). PubMed, Scopus, CENTRAL, and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched until June 2018. Studies reporting the effect of CPAP on total testosterone, free testosterone, sexual hormone binding globulin (SHBG), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prolactin were included. A subgroup analysis on hypogonadal vs. eugonadal status at baseline was performed. Results: Out of 129 retrieved papers, 10 prospective cohort and 2 randomized controlled studies were included in the review. Three hundred eighty-eight patients were included. CPAP use was not associated with a significant change in total testosterone levels [mean difference 1.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.48 to 2.64] or other outcomes. The subgroup analysis confirmed the overall results. Conclusions: The present review does not support the hypothesis of a direct interaction between OSA and testosterone. Strategies other than CPAP should therefore be considered in managing hypogonadism in patients with OSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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