LIFESTYLE

Men With Big Testicles Likely To Have Higher Blood Pressure And Heart Disease

01/08/2013 12:49 BST

'Big isn't always best' is the adage you're palmed off with when worried about penis size. But when it comes to the area of your testicles, if you have ever felt dwarfed by another man's package, it may not be the worst thing in the world.

New research from the University of Florence reveals that men with large testicles are predisposed to drinking more, having higher blood pressure and suffering from heart disease.

However, if you are well endowed, don't panic. The findings don't mean that all men with large testicles are prone to heart disease, just that in some cases it may be a valuable indicator of a predisposition to these conditions.

heart health

Giulia Rasterelli, who led the new study at the sexual medicine and andrology unit at the University of Florence, Italy, said to The Daily Telegraph: “Although it is generally assumed that testis size can predict reproductive fitness, our results indicate that this objective parameter can provide insights also on overall health and [cardiovascular disease] risk.”

"Further studies are needed for clarifying determinants and mechanisms of testis enlargement that... could mediate the increased incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events."

The study is surprising considering that larger testicles were previously seen as being an indicator of good reproductive health, but one theory mooted in the study is that men with diabetes and heart disease problems can have lower testosterone levels, and that the body may be trying to compensate for that by secreting higher levels of pituitary hormones. This can lead to an increase in testicle size.

The Huffington Post US reported that not all the experts agree. Although men with low testosterone might have an increase in the production of pituitary hormones" the article reported the notion "that then the testicle gets pushed by the pituitary, and gets bigger than normal -- I doubt that's true," said Dr. Andrew Kramer, a urologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

"I suspect testicular size isn't any bigger, but maybe smaller than their healthy counterparts," Kramer said.

The researchers examined 2,809 male patients who had attended clinics to be treated for sexual problems.