Older men who experience a natural drop in testosterone who are given testosterone replacement therapy to boost their hormone levels to that of much younger men experience an increase in sex drive, more sexual activity and better mood. But, they could be putting their heart at risk, researchers warn.
Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania screened more than 51,000 men age 65 or older and found 790 with low testosterone. Half of these men were given a topical testosterone gel and the other half were given a placebo gel. Men who were given the active testosterone gel were given just enough to boost them to the middle of the normal range for young men.
After a year, researchers noted that those being treated with the active hormone saw improvements in mood, physical activity and sexual function. But the improvements were moderate at best. Only 20 percent of those given testosterone reported much improved sexual desire and 30 percent reported a slight improvement. Almost half reported no change.
Surprisingly, about 30 percent of the men who were given the placebo gel reported an improvement in sexual desire.
Last March, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that testosterone replacement treatments had been linked to heart attacks, strokes and death, and ordered manufacturers of the hormone to conduct “well-designed” clinical trials to address cardiovascular risks. The trial has yet to start.
Source: Albany Daily Star