GeneralMen Health

The triad of erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism and the metabolic syndrome

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Men have a higher incidence of cardiovascular events than women of similar ages which has led to the belief that testosterone is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in men. The latter hypothesis is no longer tenable. On the contrary, low testosterone levels are associated with (visceral) obesity, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction (ED)

. Testosterone therapy does not lead to an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease or events such as myocardial infarction, stroke or angina. Until recently (visceral) obesity, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and ED were viewed as more or less independent entities affecting the ageing male. It was not recognised that hypogonadism is a common denominator. With a more integrative approach to the health situation of middle-aged and elderly men, these conditions appear closely interrelated in their manifestations, hypothetically in their aetiology, diagnostic strategy and also their treatment.


Improving sexual health is a portal to identify health hazards and improving men’s health. Appropriate diagnosis and medical work up of men presenting with sexual symptoms may have the benefit of the diagnosing and treating other important conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.

Ref. PMCID: PMC2327081

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