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Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

Relationship between serum testosterone concentration and microvascular endothelial function in Japanese men

  • Hiroshi Kumagai1,2
  • Asako Zempo-Miyaki3
  • Toru Yoshikawa3
  • Kanae Myoenzono4,5
  • Koichiro Tanahashi1,6
  • TNobuhiko Akazawa1
  • Seiji Maeda1

1Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki, Japan

2Institute of Health and Sports Science & Medicine, Juntendo University, Inzai, 270-1695 Chiba, Japan

3Faculty of Health & Sport Sciences, Ryutsu Keizai University, Ryugasaki, 301-8555 Ibaraki, Japan

4Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, 305-8574 Ibaraki , Japan

5Humanome Lab., Inc., Chuo-ku, 104-0045 Tokyo, Japan

6Department of Health and Sports Sciences, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Yamashina-ku, 607-8414 Kyoto, Japan

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.013

Online publish date: 28 January 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Seiji Maeda E-mail:

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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.


Testosterone; Microvascular endothelial function; Dehydroepiandrosterone; Arterial stiffness; Endo-PAT system; Finger plethysmography

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Hiroshi Kumagai,Asako Zempo-Miyaki,Toru Yoshikawa,Kanae Myoenzono,Koichiro Tanahashi,TNobuhiko Akazawa,Seiji Maeda. Relationship between serum testosterone concentration and microvascular endothelial function in Japanese men. Journal of Men's Health. 2021.doi:10.31083/jomh.2021.013.


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