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Keywords:

  • Testis Volume;
  • Cardiovascular Events;
  • Testosterone;
  • Luteinizing Hormone;
  • Hypertension

Abstract

Introduction

Measurement of testis volume (TV) is a reliable clinical procedure that predicts reproductive fitness. However, the role of TV in overall and cardiovascular (CV) fitness has never been studied.

Aim

The study aims to analyze the clinical correlates of TV in patients with sexual dysfunction (SD) and to verify the value of this parameter and its determinants (i.e., luteinizing hormone [LH] levels) in predicting major adverse CV events (MACE).

Methods

A consecutive series of 2,809 subjects without testiculopathy (age 51.2 ± 13.1) consulting for SD was retrospectively studied. A subset of this sample (n = 1,395) was enrolled in a longitudinal study.

Main Outcome Measures

Several clinical and biochemical parameters were investigated.

Results

After adjusting for confounders, TV was negatively associated with both LH (Adj. r = −0.234; P < 0.0001) and follicle-stimulating hormone (Adj. r = −0.326; P < 0.0001). In addition, overweight/obesity, smoking, and alcohol abuse increased as a function of TV (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.041 [1.021–1.061], P < 0.0001; 1.024 [1.005–1.044], P = 0.012; 1.063 [1.015–1.112], P = 0.009, respectively). Furthermore, mean blood pressure was positively related to increased TV (Adj. r = 0.157; P < 0.0001). The effect of these lifestyle factors on TV were only partially related to changes in gonadotropin levels. In the longitudinal analysis, after adjusting for confounders, TV was associated with a higher incidence of MACE (HR = 1.066 [1.013–1.122]; P = 0.014), and the stepwise introduction in the Cox model of lifestyle factors, mean blood pressure and body mass index progressively smoothed out the association, which was no longer statistically significant in the fully adjusted model. Conversely, the association of higher LH levels with increased incidence of MACE was not attenuated by the progressive introduction of the aforementioned confounders in the model.

Conclusions

Our data show that in SD subjects, TV and LH are associated with an adverse CV risk profile that mediate the higher TV-associated incidence of MACE. High LH levels are an independent marker of CV risk. Further studies are needed for clarifying determinants and mechanisms of testis enlargement that, beyond gonadotropins, could mediate the increased incidence of MACE. Rastrelli G, Corona G, Lotti F, Boddi V, Mannucci E, and Maggi M. Relationship of testis size and LH levels with incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events in older men with sexual dysfunction. J Sex Med 2013;10:2761–2773.