Meeting News Coverage

Heart failure may provoke andropause symptoms

Andropause symptoms affect nearly one-third of men with heart failure, despite their age. However, the development of heart failure provoked an acceleration of the natural aging process, thus leading to early-onset andropause symptoms, recent data presented at the Heart Failure Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, suggest.

“Andropausal symptoms lead to poor quality of life. We wanted to discover whether heart failure (HF) increases andropausal symptoms and whether additional androgen therapies could improve quality of life in HF patients,” Ewa A. Jankowska, MD, of Wroclaw Medical University in Poland, said in a press release.

The researchers compared 232 men (aged 40 to 80 years) with stable, systolic HF (based on the New York Heart Association [NYHA] class) with 362 age-matched healthy men. According to data, their andropause symptoms (psychological, sexual and somato-vegetative) were categorized by their severity and analyzed using the Aging Males’ Symptom (AMS) rating scale.

Data indicate that the prevalence (among patients aged 40 to 59 years) and the severity of andropause symptoms (based on the total AMS score) were higher in men with HF compared with healthy men (28% vs. 7%; 40 vs. 35 points; P<.001).

In patients aged 60 to 80 years with HF, the prevalence of andropause symptoms and the severity of symptoms were similar (31% vs. 40%; 44 vs. 46 points, P>.10), researchers wrote.

“HF leads to anabolic hormone deficiencies at a relatively young age and thereby accelerates male aging and the development of andropausal symptoms. These patients have poor quality of life and need endocrinological and sexual counseling,” Jankowska said.

Among the healthy men in the matched cohort, researchers reported that men of older age had a 3.8 times per 10-year increased risk for andropause symptoms (P<.001). However, age was not a factor in the prevalence of andropause symptoms in men with systolic HF (P=.40), according to data.

Men aged 40 to 59 years with HF also demonstrated a progressive NYHA class, high platelet number, low hemoglobin and low serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate level, which were associated with a higher prevalence of andropausal symptoms (P<.05 for all), according to data.

“Further research is needed to determine whether androgen supplementation can reduce the severity of andropausal symptoms,” Jankowska said.

For more information:

Tkaczyszyn M. Abstract P640. Presented at: the Heart Failure Congress; May 25-28, 2013; Lisbon, Portugal.

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