Although androgens have been considered deleterious for the cardiovascular system, recent data have demonstrated favourable testosterone effects on cardiac and vascular remodeling and clinical outcome. However, the cardiovascular risk-benefit profile of testosterone therapy remains largely elusive due to lack of well-designed and adequately powered randomized clinical trials. In any case, a large body of clinical evidence underlines that low plasma testosterone levels should be considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and that the evaluation of sex steroids should be included in the routine clinical evaluation of cardiac patients. A better understanding of the mechanism regulating the effects of testosterone on cardiovascular system could lead to novel therapeutic strategies in several cardiac patient populations, such as chronic heart failure patients and those who recently underwent cardiac surgery.
Testosterone, androgens, cardiac disease, cardiovascular risk.