(HealthDay News) — Low testosterone may exacerbate the risk of atherosclerotic complications in men with type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Oct. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Javier M. Farias, MD, of Sanatorio Guemes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study evaluating atherosclerotic disease markers in 115 male patients. Participants were aged younger than 70 years and had type 2 diabetes and serum testosterone levels that were normal (≥3.5ng/mL; 79 patients) or low (<3.5ng/mL; 36 patients).

The researchers found that, compared with individuals with normal testosterone levels, those with low testosterone levels were more likely to have carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) of ≥0.1 cm (80% vs. 39%; odds ratio [OR], 6.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5–16.4; P<0.0001), atherosclerotic plaques (68.5% vs. 44.8%; OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.12–6.03; P<0.0001), endothelial dysfunction (80.5% vs. 42.3%; OR, 5.77; 95% CI, 2.77–14.77; P<0.003), and higher highly sensitive C-reactive protein levels (2.74 ± 5.82 vs. 0.89 ± 0.88mg/L; P<0.0001). After multivariable adjustment, low total testosterone level was found to be independently associated with greater carotid IMT (OR, 8.43; 95% CI, 2.5–25.8) and endothelial dysfunction (OR, 5.21; 95% CI, 1.73–5.66), but not with the presence of atherosclerotic plaques (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 0.66–4.74).

“Low testosterone is associated with more advanced atherosclerotic disease markers in middle-aged patients with type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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