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Volume 13, Issue 5 (September 2011) 13, 759–663; 10.1038/aja.2011.26

Testosterone level and mortality in elderly men with systolic chronic heart failure

Hai-Yun Wu1, Xiao-Fei Wang2, Jun-Hua Wang3 and Jiang-Yuan Li4

1 Institute of Geriatric Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
2 Department of Cardiology, the 306th Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing 100101, China
3 Department of Cardiology, Chinese PLA Airforce General Hospital, Beijing 100036, China
4 Department of Endocrinology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China

Correspondence: Dr HY Wu, (why46301@163.com)

Received 28 August 2010; Revised 16 January 2011; Accepted 10 March 2011; Published online 20 June 2011


Previous studies on the prognostic significance of serum levels of androgens in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) have yielded conflicting results. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between serum concentration of testosterone and mortality in men with systolic CHF. A total of 175 elderly men (age ≥ 60 years) with CHF were recruited. Total testosterone (TT) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were measured, and estimated free testosterone (eFT) was calculated. The median follow-up time was 3.46 years. Of these patients, 17 had a TT level below 8 nmol l?1 (230 ng dl?1), 27 had an eFT level below 0.225 nmol l?1 (65 pg ml?1) and 12 had both. Using the age-specific tenth percentiles of TT and eFT in healthy men in our laboratory as cutoff points, the prevalences of TT and eFT deficiency was 21.7% (38/175) and 27.4% (48/175), respectively. Both TT and eFT were inversely associated with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) (all P<0.01). Kaplan-Meier curves for patients in low, medium and high tertiles according to TT and eFT level showed significantly different cumulative survival rate (both P<0.01 by log-rank test). However, after adjustment for clinical variables, there were no significant associations of either TT or eFT levels with survival time (OR=0.97, 95% CI: 0.84-1.12, P=0.28 and OR=0.92, 95% CI: 0.82-1.06, P=0.14, respectively). Our study showed that levels of TT and eFT are commonly decreased in elderly patients with systolic CHF and related to disease severity, but they are not independent predictors for mortality.

Keywords: free testosterone; heart failure; prognosis; total testosterone

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