Testosterone deficiency independently predicts mortality in women with HFrEF: insights from the T.O.S.CA. registry

ESC Heart Fail. 2023 Feb;10(1):159-166. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.14117. Epub 2022 Sep 22.


Aims: Testosterone deficiency (TD) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). However, data in women are scanty. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic impact of TD on women with HFrEF.

Methods: Among 480 patients prospectively enrolled in the T.O.S.CA. (Terapia Ormonale Scompenso CArdiaco) registry, a prospective, multicentre, nationwide, observational study, 94 women were included in the current analysis. The TD was defined as serum testosterone levels lower than 25 ng/dl. Data regarding clinical status, echocardiography, exercise performance, cardiovascular hospitalization, and survival after an average follow-up of 36 months were analysed.

Results: Thirty patients (31.9%) displayed TD. TD was associated with lower tricuspid annular plane excursion (TAPSE) to pulmonary arterial systolic pressure PASP ratio (TAPSE/PASP) (P = 0.008), peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) (P = 0.03) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (P < 0.001). TD was an independent predictor of the combined endpoint of all-cause mortality/cardiovascular hospitalization (HR: 10.45; 95% CI: 3.54-17.01; P = 0.001), all-cause mortality (HR: 8.33; 95%: 5.36-15.11; P = 0.039), and cardiovascular hospitalization (HR: 2.41; 95% CI: 1.13-4.50; P = 0.02).

Conclusions: One-third of women with HFrEF displays TD that impacts remarkably on their morbidity and mortality. TD is associated with a worse clinical profile including exercise capacity, right ventricular-pulmonary arterial coupling, and renal function. These findings lend support to an accurate profiling of women with HF, a problem often overlooked in clinical trials.

Keywords: Anabolic deficiency; HFrEF; Heart failure; Multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome; Testosterone; Women.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Failure*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Stroke Volume
  • Testosterone
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left*


  • Testosterone