Heart failure accelerates male 'menopause'

May 28, 2013 at 7:12 PM
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LISBON, Portugal, May 28 (UPI) -- Heart failure accelerates the aging process and may bring on early andropausal syndrome -- male "menopause," Polish researchers say.

Professor Ewa A. Jankowska of the Wroclaw Medical University in Poland said as men get older they are more likely to suffer from andropausal syndrome, also called menopause, or a deficiency in the male sex hormones such as testosterone.

The symptoms of andropausal syndrome can be divided into three categories: sexual, psychological and somato-vegetative.

Sexual symptoms include: erectile dysfunction, problems with libido, decrease in beard growth, feelings of "having passed the zenith of life;" psychological symptoms include feeling discouraged, depressed, irritable, anxious, nervous; and somato-vegetative include joint and muscle complaints, sweating, need for more sleep, sleep disturbances, weakness, exhaustion.

"Andropausal syndrome leads to poor quality of life. We wanted to discover whether heart failure increases andropausal syndrome and whether additional androgen therapies could improve quality of life in heart failure patients," Jankowska said in a statement.

The researchers compared the prevalence and the severity of andropausal symptoms among 232 men with systolic heart failure ages 40-80 and 362 age-matched healthy peers.

The study found andropausal syndrome affected almost one-third of men with heart failure, regardless of their age group. In men ages 40-59, heart failure led to a four-fold increase in the prevalence of andropausal syndrome and an increase in the severity of sexual and somato-vegetative andropausal symptoms. Men ages 60-80 with and without heart failure had a similar prevalence of andropausal syndrome and severity of andropausal symptoms, the study said.

The study authors concluded heart failure accelerated the natural process of aging and favors early onset of andropausal syndrome.

The findings were presented at the Heart Failure Congress in Lisbon.

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