In Search for a Common Pathway for Health Issues in Men - the Sign of a Holmesian Deduction


The evidence for the existence of a common pathway for health issues in men is presented in this review. Several epidemiological studies have shown that conditions like cardiovascular diseases (CVD), metabolic syndrome, diabetes, lower urinary tract symptom (LUTS), erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate cancer, hypogonadism, depression and suicide can be associated as risk factors for each other. Thus, the risk of CVD is significantly increased in men with metabolic syndrome, ED, hypogonadism, prostate cancer and/or LUTS. In addition, the above mentioned conditions are more prevalent in atherosclerotic patients. In addition, growing evidence indicates that low androgen levels can cause metabolic syndrome. In addition, obesity, dyslipidaemia and diabetes can further reduce androgen levels potentiating their adverse effect. Low testosterone levels are also associated with a higher incidence of aggressive prostate cancer on biopsy and on definitive pathology, and lower probability of abiraterone response in the metastatic setting. Several recent studies point towards diffuse endothelial dysfunction and dysregulated pro-inflammatory state as the biological link between all these disorders. Our current hypothesis is that oxidative stress caused by these dysfunctions explains the pathogenesis of each of these conditions.