Testosterone supplementation in aging men and women: Possible impact on cardiovascular-renal disease

Jane F. Reckelhoff, Licy L. Yanes, Radu Iliescu, Lourdes A. Fortepiani, Joey P. Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Treatment of aging men and women with testosterone supplements is increasing. The supplements are given to postmenopausal women mainly to improve their libido and to aging men to improve muscle mass and bone strength, to improve libido and quality of life, to prevent and treat osteoporosis, and, with the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, such as sildenafil, to treat erectile dysfunction. The increased use of testosterone supplements in aging individuals has occurred despite the fact that there have been no rigorous clinical trials examining the effects of chronic testosterone on the cardiovascular-renal disease risk. Studies in humans and animals have suggested that androgens can increase blood pressure and compromise renal function. Androgens have been shown to increase tubular sodium and water reabsorption and activate various vasoconstrictor systems in the kidney, such as the renin-angiotensin system and endothelin. There is also evidence that androgens may increase oxidative stress. Furthermore, the kidney contains the enzymes necessary to produce androgens de novo. This review presents an overview of the data from human and animal studies in which the role of androgens in promoting renal and cardiovascular diseases has been investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F941-F948
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number5 58-5
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen receptor
  • Angiotensin II
  • Cytokines
  • Endothelin
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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