Lower Plasma Testosterone Associated with Higher Framingham Risk Score

   According to researchers at the University of California at Davis and the Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System in Mather, lower plasma testosterone is associated with a higher Framingham risk score. The research was presented at ENDO 2011: the 93rd Annual Meeting & Expo of the Endocrine Society in Boston.

   As known, the Framingham risk score predicts a patient's 10 year risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many risk factors included in the calculation of this score influence (or are influenced by) circulating testosterone. To help clarify the possible association between testosterone and cardiovascular risk, as defined by the Framingham score, they performed a retrospective chart review using a Veterans Affairs database.

   Inclusion criteria were male gender and age >/= 20. Exclusion criteria included pre-existing CVD, stroke, and diabetes. Testosterone supplements, antiandrogen therapy, antihypertensives, or lipid-lowering medications were not exclusion criteria, but were factored in data analysis. Laboratory and clinical data were collected on veterans (N=1479, mean age 61) who had total plasma testosterone checked in 2008.

   Following data analysis, the researchers found significant negative associations between total testosterone and Framingham score (estimate of regression parameter for total testosterone -0.0042, P<0.0001) and between free testosterone and Framingham score (estimate of regression parameter for free testosterone -0.2744, P<0.001). Total testosterone was positively associated with HDL and negatively associated with BMI, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and number of blood pressure medications used. Free testosterone was positively associated with total cholesterol and LDL and negatively associated with age, BMI, and number of blood pressure medications used. There was no statistically significant association between BMI and Framingham score.