Testosterone Heart Risk

Testosterone Heart Risk Shown To Be High, Treatments Increase Danger

Testosterone heart risk is shown to be high in testosterone therapy patients, increasing the danger by 29 percent, according to the latest studies.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a little bit of testosterone might be a good thing for women in the bedroom.

But too much for men with signs of heart issues, might just be a nail in the coffin. A new study shows that men who take testosterone injections or use testosterone gel may have increased risks including heart attack or stroke.

Prescriptions for testosterone in the US were at a staggering 5.3 million in 2011 and is prescribed to counteract age-related decline in testosterone levels, and improves sex drive, bone density and muscle mass. But is any of this worth the risk? The benefits of long term use aren’t well known, and those with any sort of heart trouble may want to steer clear.

Dr. Rebecca Vigen and her peers studied 9,000 male vets who had undergone coronary angiography between 2005 and 2011, with an average age of 60 and having low testosterone levels, which was being treated with testosterone therapy.

Follow up was conducted about 2.4 years later. Twenty six percent of the men had a heart attack or stroke or died, and 20 percent of the men who did not receive testosterone therapy, experienced such events or died.

So essentially, men who used testosterone therapy had a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke or dying, compared with men who didn’t use the hormone. The results were adjusted to account for several factors and remained the same.

Dr. Anne Cappola, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania a peer who was not involved with the study, believes the results are reason enough for caution:

“The results make us take a pause, and make sure that everyone taking testosterone is taking it for the right reasons and is experiencing benefits. There’s a lot of marketing out there of testosterone and low-T syndrome, and a lot of men who want to feel better, so that marketing appeals to them, but they are not hearing any of the risks side, which is often harder to quantify.”

Aggressive marketing used by companies and doctors should be taken with a grain of salt. In the US testosterone prescriptions tripled between 2000 and 2011. The latest study was prompted by a recent trial of testosterone, but was stopped early due to the higher rates of heart problems in the testosterone therapy group. Other dangers of testosterone therapy include a worsening of sleep apnea, an affect on blood platelets, and a link to atherosclerosis and coronary plaque.

Dr. Cappola believes that the participants represented an accurate “real-world” population of men with more health problems than most randomized trials. It is unclear from the study if the results can be extended to other male populations such as those simply taking testosterone for it’s “anti-aging” benefits, “male enhancement” or low-T syndrome.

Researchers gave the common warning:

“Although physicians should continue to discuss the benefits of testosterone therapy with patients, it is also important to inform patients that long-term risks are unknown and there is a possibility that testosterone therapy might be harmful.”

So what do you think, is testosterone potentially lethal or is this just another overblown study?

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