Professor C Mary Schooling co-authors “Pubertal testis volume, age at pubertal onset, and adolescent blood pressure: Evidence from Hong Kong’s “Children of 1997” birth cohort.”
Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration have recently warned of the cardiovascular risk of testosterone. Health Canada also specifically advised that testosterone raises blood pressure and promotes clotting. This warning is consistent with the generally accepted idea in biology that growth and reproduction trade-off against longevity. However the reported experimental evidence concerning the effects of androgens on blood pressure is very limited, although higher blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure, in boys than girls emerges at puberty. Testosterone is also rarely measured. To address this gap we assessed the relation of pubertal testis volume, as a reflection of testosterone production, with blood pressure in adolescent boys. As expected larger testis volume was associated with higher systolic blood pressure in adolescent boys even after considering socio-economic position, other exposures and prior body mass index.
In summary, Professor Schooling says, “This study adds another piece of evidence to the emerging realization that higher androgens in men than women underlie higher rates of ischemic cardiovascular disease in men than women and shorter lifespan in men than women. Environmental or lifestyle factors that reduces androgens could be protective.”