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Tuesday, 4 December, 2001, 12:26 GMT
Male HRT 'could fight heart disease'
Heart treadmill
Testosterone improved treadmill exercise times
Doctors believe that boosting testosterone levels in middle aged men could help fight heart disease.

Research carried out at Sheffield University and the city's Royal Hallamshire Hospital has found that blood vessels dilate when testosterone is added.

The hormone can also stop arteries from thickening, one of the major symptoms of heart disease.

Dr Peter Pugh and Dr Hugh Jones told the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in London that the discovery could help to develop treatments for a range of conditions.

We could be looking at developing testosterone or male HRT for heart disease in the next few years

Dr Hugh Jones, Sheffield University
Dr Pugh said: "These findings show that testosterone relaxes blood vessels and this is important because it can have many clinical applications, such as use in stroke, angina, heart disease and high blood pressure.

"There results may be especially important to men because as they age their levels of testosterone fall and this could be a contributing factor to such diseases."

Strong link

Dr Jones said their study had identified a strong link between testosterone levels and heart disease.

"We have demonstrated that men with coronary heart disease have lower testosterone levels.

"We have also demonstrated that men with angina have reduced levels.

"We found that testosterone stops and regresses the thickening of arteries and increasing testosterone levels improves the time men can spend on exercise treadmills."

Dr Jones suggested the study could lead to new treatments for men in the coming years.

"Potentially we could be looking at developing testosterone or male HRT for heart disease in the next few years," he told BBC News Online.

See also:

21 Jun 00 | Health
Doctors call for better male HRT
05 Dec 00 | Health
Call for men to get HRT
06 Dec 00 | Health
'Testosterone the answer'
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