March 20, 2013 | News
Dr C Mary Schooling and colleagues publish in BMC Medicine: The effects of statins on testosterone in men and women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Statins have revolutionized the treatment of cardiovascular disease, whilst other cholesterol modulating drugs, such as estrogen, niacin and CETP-inhibitors, have been less effective. Thus, the possibility exists that statins protect against cardiovascular disease not only by affecting cholesterol but also by other means. Statins also reduce inflammation and slightly increase the risk of diabetes. As a unifying theory for the positive and negative health effects of statins, Dr Schooling hypothesized that statins also lower testosterone. This publication shows, based on “gold-standard evidence”, that statins do indeed lower testosterone. Given cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, whether statins are uniquely protective against cardiovascular disease because they lower testosterone is a key question that needs to be investigated urgently.