A study in a large primary care patient population shows that low baseline testosterone in women aged 43-72 years is associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events. This association was found to be largely independent of traditional risk factors, and supports the notion that the hormonal status in middle age and older women might impact morality outcomes.
The objective of the study was to determine whether baseline testosterone levels in women are associated with future overall or cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Methods and Study Design:
Prospective cohort study with a 4.5-year follow-up period.
From a representative sample of German primary care practices, 2914 female patients between 18 and 75 years were analyzed for the main outcome measures: cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular diseases, and all-cause mortality.
At baseline, the study population was aged 57.96 +/- 14.37 years with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 26.71 +/- 5.17 kg/m2.
No predictive value of total testosterone for incident cardiovascular risk factors or cardiovascular diseases was observed.
However, women with the lowest total testosterone levels, 16 ng/dl or below, had a higher risk to die of any cause or to develop a cardiovascular event within the follow-up period compared to women with higher total testosterone levels of 29-143 ng/dl.
More specifically, compared to women with the lowest total testosterone levels, higher levels (29-143 ng/dl vs. 16 ng/dl) was associated with a 38-51% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular events.
Low baseline testosterone in women is associated with increased all-cause mortality and incident CV events independent of traditional risk factors.
Low testosterone levels predict all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in women: a prospective cohort study in German primary care patients.
Sievers C, Klotsche J, Pieper L, Schneider HJ, März W, Wittchen HU, Stalla GK, Mantzoros C.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Oct;163(4):699-708
Medical Writer & Nutritionist
University of Stockholm & Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Baylor University, TX, USA
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