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In Men With ED, Statins Linked to Hypogonadism

Last Updated: April 16, 2010.

Observations of men with erectile dysfunction suggest that statin therapy may lead to overt primary hypogonadism, which should be considered when evaluating testosterone levels in these patients, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of Sex Medicine.

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Observations of men with erectile dysfunction suggest that statin therapy may lead to overt primary hypogonadism, which should be considered when evaluating testosterone levels in these patients, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of Sex Medicine.

Giovanni Corona, M.D., of the University of Florence in Italy, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,484 men with erectile dysfunction (mean age, 51.6 years), of whom 244 were taking statins.

The researchers found that men using statins had significantly lower total and calculated free testosterone levels (hazard ratios, 0.93 and 0.26 for each decrement of total and calculated free testosterone, respectively). Statin use was also associated with reduced testis volume and greater prevalence of signs and symptoms of hypogonadism. Statin users also had higher follicle-stimulating hormone levels and lower prolactin levels.

"Our data suggest that statin therapy, even at low dosage, might induce an overt primary hypogonadism and should be considered a possible confounding factor for the evaluation of testosterone levels in patients with erectile dysfunction. Larger placebo-controlled longitudinal studies are advisable to better clarify the relationship between the treatment with statins and testosterone production," the authors conclude.

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