IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 17 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.013
Open Access Original Research
Relationship between serum testosterone concentration and microvascular endothelial function in Japanese men
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1 Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan
2 Institute of Health and Sports Science & Medicine, Juntendo University, Inzai, 270-1695 Chiba, Japan
3 Faculty of Health & Sport Sciences, Ryutsu Keizai University, Ryugasaki, 301-8555 Ibaraki, Japan
4 Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan
5 Humanome Lab., Inc., Chuo-ku, 104-0045 Tokyo, Japan
6 Department of Health and Sports Sciences, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Yamashina-ku, 607-8414 Kyoto, Japan
*Correspondence: (Seiji Maeda)
J. Mens. Health 2021, 17(2), 64–69;
Submitted: 14 December 2020 | Accepted: 24 December 2020 | Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lifestyle modifications for men with hypertension)
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Background: Both endothelial dysfunction and low circulating androgen levels predict cardiovascular disease in men. Endothelial function evaluation is commonly performed by measuring flow-mediated vasodilatation of the brachial artery. However, studies have suggested that compared with evaluation of large arteries, microvascular function evaluation of peripheral arteries is a better predictor of increased cardiovascular disease risks. Although circulating levels of androgens, such as testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), positively correlate with cardiovascular function, the association between circulating androgen levels and microvascular function is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether serum androgen levels correlate with microvascular endothelial function in men.

Methods: The study included 105 Japanese men (age 59 ± 1 years) in whom we measured serum testosterone and DHEA-S levels. The reactive hyperemia index (RHI) determined by the Endo-PAT system (finger plethysmography) was used to evaluate microvascular endothelial function.

Results: Serum testosterone levels were significantly correlated with the RHI (r = 0.32, P < 0.01). The association between serum testosterone levels and the RHI remained significant even after adjustment for confounders, including age and body mass index (β = 0.31, P < 0.01). Notably, serum DHEA-S levels were not associated with the RHI (r = 0.01, n.s.).

Conclusion: This study showed that serum testosterone levels were positively correlated with microvascular endothelial function in men. These results suggest that endogenous testosterone level is one of the determinants of microvascular endothelial function and may become a biomarker reflecting lifestyle modifications-induced improvement in cardiovascular function in men.

Microvascular endothelial function
Arterial stiffness
EndoPAT system
Finger plethysmography
Fig. 1.
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