[Testosterone and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]

Rev Mal Respir. 2020 Dec;37(10):790-799. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2020.08.013. Epub 2020 Oct 13.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Testosterone level has been shown to be associated with respiratory function and loss of lean body mass in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between testosterone level and functional respiratory parameters during COPD.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study that included 95 male patients with stable COPD. Functional tests (body plethysmography, six-minute walk test (6MWT), arterial blood gas) were performed in all patients and serum levels of testosterone, prolactin, FSH, LH and C-reactive protein were determined. Lean body mass was measured using bioelectric impedance.

Results: The average age was 63.78±8.90years. COPD was classified as stage 3 in 38% of cases and stage 4 in 11% of cases, group C in 10% of cases and group D in 18% of cases. The average testosterone was 20.87±8.60nmol/L. A significant positive correlation was found between FEV1 (P=0.005), FVC (P=0.005), FEV1/FVC ratio (P=0.001), lean mass index (P=0.021), and testosterone. However, testosterone was not correlated with 6MWT or blood gas parameters. Similarly, it was not correlated with FSH, LH, prolactin and C-reactive protein.

Conclusion: This study found that serum testosterone level was associated with lung function and lean mass during COPD. Further investigations are required to better evaluate the relationship between COPD and serum testosterone levels and the effect of androgen substitution in lung function.

Keywords: Androgens; Androgènes; Atrophie musculaire; Bronchopneumopathie chronique obstructive; Hypogonadism; Hypogonadisme; Muscular atrophy; Pulmonary disease chronic obstructive; Testosterone; Testostérone.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / blood*
  • Hypogonadism / complications
  • Hypogonadism / epidemiology
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Atrophy / blood
  • Muscular Atrophy / complications
  • Muscular Atrophy / epidemiology
  • Plethysmography
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Tunisia / epidemiology


  • Testosterone
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • C-Reactive Protein