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Volume 10, Issue 2 (March 2008) 10, 193–200; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2008.00332.x

Higher testosterone levels are associated with increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in men with cardiovascular disease: results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study

Stephanie T Page1, Beth A Mohr2, Carol L Link2, Amy B O Donnell2, William J Bremner1 and John B McKinlay2

1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA
2New England Research Institutes, Watertown 02472, USA

Correspondence: Dr Stephanie T Page, 1959 NE Pacific, Box 356426, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Fax: +1-206-616-0499. E-mail: page@u.washington.edu

Received 29 January 2007; Accepted 23 July 2007.


Aim: To study the relationship between circulating androgens (total testosterone [TT], free testosterone [fT] and dihydrotestosterone [DHT]) and HDL-C in men with and without CVD.
Methods: Cross-sectional analyses included 1 661 baseline samples from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS), a population-based cohort of men ages 40-70 years. Serum hormones were measured by radioimmunoassay and HDL-C was determined following precipitation of the lower density lipoproteins. CVD was determined by self-report. Analyses were performed using multiple linear regression.
Results: TT and HDL-C were positively correlated in the entire sample (r = 0.11, P = 0.0001). After adjusting for confounders, we found this relationship was mostly limited to the 209 men with CVD. Among men with CVD, TT (P = 0.0004), fT (P = 0.0172) and DHT (P = 0.0128) were all positively correlated with HDL-C, whereas in men without CVD only TT correlated with HDL-C (P = 0.0099).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that if androgens contribute to CVD in middle-aged men, the effect is not related to a suppressive effect of endogenous T on HDL-C.
Keywords: testosterone, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, androgens, epidemiology

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