New research suggests that men with type 2 diabetes and low testosterone have an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis than those with normal testosterone levels. Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes the build-up of plaque in the arteries. It develops when fat and cholesterol build up in the arteries.
The study, published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) found that men with low testosterone and type 2 diabetes were six times more likely to have a thicker carotid artery, when compared to men with type 2 diabetes and normal testosterone.
In total, the risk of vascular disease was 54 per cent higher in the low-testosterone men, and ten per cent higher in the men with normal testosterone.
Javier Mauricio Farias, MD, of the Hospital Universitario Sanatorio Guemes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and one of the study’s authors said, “Our study indicates a strong association between low testosterone concentration and the severity of atherosclerotic plaques as well as other key atherosclerotic markers in middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes.
“The results of our study advance our understanding of the interplay between low testosterone and cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes.”
Farias also explained that the findings do not explain if testosterone directly contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, or if it simply suggests heightened risk. According to Farias, “This study is a stepping stone to better understanding the risks of cardiovascular events in men who have both low testosterone and type 2 diabetes.”

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