A team of researchers from the University of North Carolina has compared the prevalence of low testosterone in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) and men with Peyronie’s disease (PD) and found no significant differences.
They also analyzed the severity of Peyronie’s disease in men with low and normal testosterone levels and found no correlation.
Hypogonadism is common in men with PD. However, its role in the etiology of PD has been unclear. Many men with PD – as much as 75% according to some studies – also have erectile difficulties. The researchers wanted to take a closer look at the relationships between testosterone levels and these conditions. They also wanted to know whether men with Peyronie’s disease were more likely to have low testosterone.
They collected data from 185 men. Eighty-seven had Peyronie’s disease (mean age 54.6) and 98 had erectile dysfunction (mean age 56.8). None of the men had both conditions simultaneously.
Total and free testosterone levels were measured from blood samples taken, for the most part, in the morning. Total testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL were considered low. Curvature and plaque size were also assessed in the men with Peyronie’s disease.
Similar levels of total testosterone were found in the PD and ED groups. For men with PD, the mean was 328 ng/dL; for the men with ED, the mean was 332 ng/dL. Free testosterone levels were also similar when the two groups were compared (11.5 ng/dL for the PD group and 12.1 ng/dL for the ED group).
For the men with PD, testosterone did not appear to affect disease severity. After accounting for hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, alcohol use, and tobacco use, no statistically significant differences in curvature or plaque size were found in these men.
“The exact role of [testosterone] in PD is unclear and represents an important unanswered question,” the authors wrote.
“The comparable prevalence of low T in men with PD or ED suggests the high rate of low T in PD men may be related to a common process among men with abnormal erectile physiology and not specifically causative in plaque formation,” they added.
The study was first published online in January in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Kirby, E. Will, MD, et al.
“Low Testosterone Has a Similar Prevalence among Men with Sexual Dysfunction Due to Either Peyronie's Disease or Erectile Dysfunction and Does Not Correlate with Peyronie's Disease Severity”
(Full-text. First published online: January 8, 2015)