Men age 65 and older who use testosterone replacement therapies enjoyed a microscopic short-term boost in libido but, in the long term, that improvement waned, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Testosterone replacement treatments are designed to boost levels of the male hormone in men with hypogonadism, a condition in which men produce too little testosterone due to injury or disease. As a man ages, his testosterone level naturally decreases. Testosterone treatments are not designed for men with age-related hypogonadism.
Aggressive marketing campaigns waged by testosterone manufacturers have led to a boom in prescriptions for testosterone supplements, with many of those recipients being older men. This has raised concerns in the medical community as testosterone therapy has been linked to a 30 percent increased risk of heart attacks, strokes or death after three years of use. Another study found that men had a significant increased risk of heart attack or stroke in the first three months of starting testosterone treatment.
The new study questions whether testosterone treatments actually provide the benefit manufacturers promise. The study involved 230 older men who were given testosterone treatments who were asked to gauge their sexual activity on a scale of 0 to 12. The data showed a short-term boost of about a half point, but that dropped 0.3 points after a year.
“It’s likely that some of the 230 men receiving testosterone therapy were no better off than if they’d been using skin cream,” said Carolina Branson, PhD, an associate editor with HealthNewsReview.org.
Manufacturers of testosterone treatments are facing lawsuits from men who claim they were not adequately warned that using the products could cause cardiovascular risks including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and death.
Source: Health News Review