Heart failure accelerates male 'menopause'

May 25, 2013, European Society of Cardiology

Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times more common in men with heart failure.

The Congress is the main annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the and is being held 25-28 May in Lisbon, Portugal.

As get older they are more likely to suffer from andropausal syndrome (AS), also called 'menopause', androgen deficiency in the aging male (ADAM), or late-onset hypogonadism. Men with AS have decreased levels of anabolic hormones, including testosterone, and it has been suggested that these hormone deficiencies are what cause the clinical symptoms.

The symptoms of AS according to the Aging Male Symptom Rating Scale can be divided into three categories: sexual (erectile dysfunction, problems with , decrease in beard growth, feelings of 'having passed the zenith of life'), psychological (feeling discouraged, depressed, irritable, anxious, nervous), and somato-vegetative (joint and muscle complaints, sweating, need for more sleep, , weakness, exhaustion).

Heart failure increases with age. Deficiencies of anabolic hormones are common in men with systolic heart failure, leading to reduced , depression and . But until now the impact of heart failure on the prevalence of AS and the severity of andropausal symptoms has not been studied.

Professor Ewa A. Jankowska (Wroclaw, Poland) said: "AS leads to poor quality of life. We wanted to discover whether heart failure increases AS and whether additional androgen therapies could improve quality of life in ."

For the study, the researchers compared the prevalence of AS and the severity of andropausal symptoms between 232 men with systolic heart failure aged 40-80 years and 362 age-matched healthy peers. The magnitude of andropausal symptoms (psychological, sexual and somato-vegetative) was assessed using the Aging Males' Symptoms (AMS) Rating Scale and AS was diagnosed if the total AMS score was 50 points or more.

They found that AS affected almost one-third of men with heart failure, regardless of their age group. In men aged 40-59 years, heart failure led to a four-fold increase in the prevalence of AS (28% vs. 7%, p<0.001) and an increase in the severity of sexual and somato-vegetative andropausal symptoms (p<0.001). Men aged 60-80 years with and without heart failure had a similar prevalence of AS and severity of andropausal symptoms. Among men with systolic heart failure, the prevalence of AS was similar in both age groups (40-59 and 60-80 years).

The authors concluded that heart failure accelerates the natural process of aging and favours early onset of AS. Professor Jankowska said: "Heart failure leads to anabolic hormone deficiencies at a relatively young age and thereby accelerates male aging and the development of AS. These patients have poor quality of life and need endocrinological and sexual counselling."

It has been suggested that the anabolic hormone deficiencies in heart failure could be caused by heart failure treatments, which could affect the metabolism of hormones, or comorbidities, which might impair endocrine gland function. But in a second abstract (61271) the research group found few and weak associations between the presence of anabolic deficiencies, comorbidities and therapies in men with systolic heart failure. Professor Jankowska said: "This shows that it is the heart failure itself which impacts on the functioning of the endocrine glands."

She concluded: "Further research is needed to determine whether androgen supplementation can reduce the severity of andropausal symptoms."

Explore further: Getting fit in middle age can reduce heart failure risk

Related Stories

Getting fit in middle age can reduce heart failure risk

May 15, 2013
Middle aged and out of shape? It's not too late to get fit—and reduce your risk for heart failure, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions ...

Death highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight

May 25, 2013
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...

Young women often less healthy than young men before heart attacks

May 15, 2013
Young women tend to be less healthy and have a poorer quality of life than similar-aged men before suffering a heart attack, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes ...

First drug to improve heart failure mortality in over a decade

May 25, 2013
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...

Risk of death, hospital readmission prolonged after heart attack, heart failure

May 16, 2013
Heart attack or heart failure patients may have a high risk of death or re-admission for a month or longer after leaving the hospital, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Scientific ...

Sexual health of men with chronic heart failure significantly improves with CRT

June 2, 2011
A new study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology reveals that in men with chronic heart failure, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) improves patients' libido, erectile dysfunction, and sexual performance.

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

arq
not rated yet May 25, 2013
enough sleep, enough sun, enough physical activness....reduces the severity of symptoms.

Of course along with medication if the person has a heart condition.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.