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Testosterone May Boost Endurance In Heart Failure
By eInternal Medicine News: by Timothy F. Kirn
Dec 22, 2002, 8:55pm

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Testosterone therapy was associated with a 95-meter improvement on the shuttle walk test in a double-blind study of 20 heart failure patients, Dr. T. Hugh Jones said at the annual meeting of the Endocrinology Society.

The patients, men with ejection fractions of around 35%, increased their distance walked during the test from an average 280 m to an average 375 m—an increase of 34%—after 12 weeks of testosterone therapy. In contrast, patients who received placebo increased their distance by an average of 2%. Testosterone was given as 100-mg injections delivered once every 2 weeks in the trial.

A larger, confirmatory trial is underway, Dr. Jones of the academic unit of endocrinology at the University of Sheffield (England) said in a press conference.

Low testosterone levels may contribute to exercise intolerance and general fatigue in men with heart failure. Testosterone can promote vasodilatation and may have some beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.

There was no evidence that testosterone increased skeletal muscle strength or bulk, or that it changed plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines, Dr. Jones said.

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