Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

Air Pollution and Other Causes of Increased Testosterone Result in Increased Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Cardiovascular Disese

Posted by jamesmhoward on 26 Apr 2013 at 12:43 GMT

I suggest the findings of Adar, et al., may be explained by low testosterone initially caused by increased testosterone.

It is known that low testosterone is connected to atherosclerosis / increased carotid intima-media thickness (Endocr J. 2012 Sep 30;59(9):809-15). Adar, et al., cite the connection of “age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, and socio-economic indicators” as cofounders of increased CIMT. A case may be made for increased testosterone, followed by decreased testosterone, in each of these cofounders of increased CIMT.

Air pollution has been found to increase testosterone in rats (Inhal Toxicol. 2009 Aug;21(10):803-11).
I suggest that “age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, and socio-economic indicators,” as well as air pollution all increase testosterone. These increases in testosterone all result in an earlier decline of testosterone in adulthood. Therefore, all of these, including air pollution, cause an earlier onset of atherosclerosis / increased carotid intima-media thickness with ageing because of earlier loss of testosterone.

It is my hypothesis that the “secular trend,” the increase in size and earlier puberty in children is caused by increasing testosterone within the population. This results in an early decrease in testosterone. Therefore, we are witnessing the negative consequences of increased and decreased testosterone. The early decline in testosterone, however, is generating much more pathology.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Air Pollution and Other Causes of Increased Testosterone Result in Increased Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Cardiovascular Disese

sadar replied to jamesmhoward on 14 Aug 2013 at 22:38 GMT

Thank you for your feedback on our manuscript. In your comment, you suggest that the observed associations between air pollution and the progression of atherosclerosis may be attributable to testosterone.

To address your concern, we conducted a sensitivity analysis in which we controlled for hormone levels, including testosterone, collected at the MESA baseline examination. These analyses indicated qualitatively robust findings with slightly stronger associations for air pollution after control for these hormones. This suggests that lower levels of testosterone in this older adult population are not likely to explain our observed findings.

No competing interests declared.