Testosterone is important in the physiology of various organs and tissues. The serum testosterone concentration gradually declines as one of the processes of aging. Thus, the concept of late-onset hypogonadism has gained increasing attention in the last few years. Reported symptoms of late-onset hypogonadism are easily recognized and include diminished sexual desire and erectile quality, particularly in nocturnal erections, changes in mood with concomitant decreases in intellectual activity and spatial orientation, fatigue, depression and anger, a decrease in lean body mass with associated decreases in muscle volume and strength, a decrease in body hair and skin alterations, and decreased bone mineral density resulting in osteoporosis. Among these various symptoms, sexual dysfunction has been the most common and necessary to treat in the field of urology. It is well known that a low serum testosterone level is associated with erectile dysfunction and hypoactive sexual libido and that testosterone replacement treatment can improve these symptoms in patients with hypogonadism. Recently, in addition to sexual dysfunction, a close relationship between metabolic syndrome, characterized by central obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, and late-onset hypogonadism has been highlighted by several epidemiologic studies. Several randomized control trials have shown that testosterone replacement treatment significantly decreases insulin resistance in addition to its advantage for obesity. Furthermore, metabolic syndrome is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and a low serum testosterone level is closely related to the development of atherosclerosis. Presently, it is speculated that a low serum testosterone level may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Thus, testosterone is a key molecule in men's health, especially that of elderly men.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular diseases; Erectile dysfunction; Hypogonadism; Testosterone.