Men who underwent a heart procedure known as coronary angiography and used testosterone replacement therapy to increase their low testosterone levels were at a 30 percent increased risk of death, heart attack, or stroke, according to a study published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Testosterone therapy, which includes products such as AndroGel, Testim and Axiron, has increased greatly in the past decade thanks in large part to aggressive marketing campaigns from pharmaceutical companies encouraging men to talk to their doctors about whether they have “Low T.” Low testosterone levels can be blamed for low libido, depression and fatigue. Studies have shown testosterone supplements for men can improve sexual function, bone mineral density and increase muscle mass and strength.
However, a recent randomized clinical trial conducted with men with a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases was stopped prematurely due to adverse cardiovascular events, raising concern over the safety of the hormone replacement therapy.
Researchers found that the number of patients who experienced cardiovascular events three years after having an angiography was nearly 20 percent in the no testosterone therapy group and more than 25 percent in the testosterone therapy group.
“In light of the high volume of prescriptions and aggressive marketing by testosterone manufacturers, prescribers and patients should be wary. There is mounting evidence of a signal of cardiovascular risk,” the study’s authors write. “This signal warrants both cautious testosterone prescribing and additional investigation.”
Source: The Almagest