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Abstract

Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 2011) 13, 569–573; 10.1038/aja.2010.129

Endocrine milieu and erectile dysfunction: is oestradiol-testosterone imbalance, a risk factor in the elderly?

Balasubramanian Srilatha and P Ganesan Adaikan

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Hospital, National University of Singapore, NUHS Tower Block, 1E Kent Ridge Road, 119228, Singapore

Correspondence: Professor PG Adaikan, (p_ganesan_adaikan@nuhs.edu.sg)

Abstract

Oestrogens are not exclusive to the female gender but occur in moderate circulating levels of 25-70 pg ml?1 in men, compared to 44-153 pg ml?1 in women. Arising from aromatisation of testosterone (T), oestrogen is considered to have many opposing physiological functions and the progressive T decline in the aging male is associated with relative and/or absolute increase in serum oestradiol (E?). Sexual disinterest and erectile dysfunction (ED) in the elderly may well be due to pathophysiological E?-T imbalance; the altered hormonal ratio may also explain the higher incidence of ED in hyperestrogenism or following exposure to environmental/plant oestrogens.

Keywords: aging; erectile dysfunction; hormone imbalance; oestradiol; phytoestrogen; testosterone

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