Endogenous testosterone, endothelial dysfunction, and cardiovascular events in men with nondialysis chronic kidney disease.
ABSTRACT Deterioration of kidney function impairs testosterone production, with hypogonadism being common in men with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In nonrenal populations, testosterone is suggested to participate in the atherosclerotic process. In male dialysis patients, we showed that low testosterone increases the risk of mortality. We here studied plausible links among testosterone levels, vascular derangements, and cardiovascular events in nondialysis CKD men. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & METHODS: This was a cross-sectional analysis in which flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was assessed in 239 CKD male patients (stages 1 to 5; mean age 52 ± 12 years), together with routine measurements, serum total and free testosterone, and follow-up for cardiovascular outcomes.
Total and free testosterone levels decreased in parallel with the reduction of kidney function. Multiple regression analyses showed that total and free testosterone significantly and independently contributed to explain the variance of FMD. After a median follow-up of 31 months (range 8 to 35 months), 22 fatal and 50 nonfatal cardiovascular events occurred. In Cox analysis, the risk of cardiovascular events was reduced by 22% for each nanomole-per-liter increment of total testosterone. This reduced risk persisted after adjustment for age, renal function, diabetes mellitus, previous cardiovascular history, C-reactive protein, albumin, and FMD. The same was true for free testosterone concentrations.
The reduction in endogenous testosterone levels observed with progressive CKD was inversely associated with endothelial dysfunction and exacerbated the risk of future cardiovascular events in nondialysis male CKD patients.