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Aggressive ad campaigns led to dramatic increases in testosterone use

Aggressive marketing campaigns waged by makers of testosterone replacement therapies promising men stronger libidos, increased muscle mass, and weight loss resulted in dramatic increases in the number of men taking the hormonal supplements, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, conducted by researchers with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, analyzed data on the initiation of testosterone treatment and use based on commercial insurance claims with ratings in 75 television markets from 2009 to 2013. The study area included more than 17 million commercially insured men. Researchers found that more ... Read More

Testosterone replacement therapy increases plaque buildup in arteries of older men

A group of older men treated with AbbVie’s AndroGel testosterone replacement therapy for a year had a 20 percent greater buildup of non-calcified plaque in their arteries than men who received a placebo gel, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The men – 138 in total – had a mean age of 71 as well as having cardiovascular risk factors. Half had severe atherosclerosis, a buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls, which can cause blockages that can lead to conditions such as coronary artery disease, chronic ... Read More

Athletes, bodybuilders more likely to abuse testosterone, AAS

Adolescent and adult athletes and bodybuilders are more likely to abuse testosterone treatments and anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) than non-athletes, often combining the two drugs or taking higher doses of testosterone than generally prescribed. This may put them at risk for heart, brain, liver, mental health and endocrine system problems, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in a Safety Alert. “Reported serious adverse health outcomes include heart attack, heart failure, stroke, depression, hostility, aggression, liver toxicity, and male infertility. Those who abuse high doses of testosterone have also reported withdrawal symptoms including depression, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, decreased libido ... Read More

FDA warns of higher death risk, neurological injuries from artificial heart system

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting transplant surgeons and cardiologists of new information regarding risks associated with SynCardia System, Inc.’s Temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t) Companion 2 Driver System (C2 Driver System), and to inform of recent events with additional SynCardia pneumatic driver system, the Freedom Driver System. The TAH-t functions as a bridge to a heart transplant in a small population of heart failure patients with severe bi-ventricular failure. In June 2015, the FDA informed the health care community that preliminary post-approval study data suggested a higher death rate for a subgroup of patients requiring pre-implant circulatory ... Read More

Older men who have frequent sex often at greater risk of heart attacks, strokes

Older men who have sex at least once a week are up to two times as likely to have a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular event than men who engage in sexual intercourse less frequently, according to a new study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Even more worrisome is that the men who found sex with their partners satisfying or even mind-blowing had the greatest risk of heart problems than those less satisfied with their sexual experiences. The study involved an analysis of 2,204 people enrolled in the U.S. National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Men ... Read More

Doctor advised to use caution when prescribing testosterone to older men

Medical experts representing the Endocrine Society of Australia are urging doctors to exercise caution when prescribing testosterone replacement therapy to older men with a history of cardiovascular disease due to an increased risk of heart problems. The statement was authored by Professor Bu Yeap, head of the University of Western Australia’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology Fiona Stanley Hospital Unit and published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Yeap and colleagues from research and endocrinology units across the country made their recommendation after a review of key treatment options during which concerns about cardiovascular-related effects with testosterone treatments was addressed. Researchers ... Read More

Calcium supplements linked to dementia risk in older women

Older women who take a calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis are at an increased risk of dementia, and the risk is even greater among older women with cerebrovascular disease who take the supplement, according to a study published this week in the journal Neurology. The study involved 700 women who between the ages of 70 and 92 who, at the start of the study in 2000, did not have dementia. Researchers followed the women’s health for five years. The participants completed a variety of tests including memory and cognition tests at the beginning and again at the end of the ... Read More

Testosterone treatments can harm health, relationships

Research has shown that men who use testosterone replacement treatments are at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, including death. But a new study shows they may be putting their relationships at risk as well. Testosterone treatments are designed for men who do not produce enough of the hormone naturally due to injury or disease, a condition known as hypogonadism. However, aggressive marketing campaigns from manufacturers of testosterone products to treat what they dubbed “Low T” have resulted in millions of testosterone prescriptions each year. Research has shown that many men are prescribed the hormone without ever being tested to determine ... Read More

AndroGel makers tried to persuade doctors to widen use of testosterone

AbbVie Inc., maker of the blockbuster testosterone treatment AndroGel, offered free education courses to doctors for continuing medical education credits (CME), which are required for doctors to keep their medical licenses, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation has found. The classes promoted unapproved uses for the hormone treatment. Testosterone treatments are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone due to disease or injury. The condition can cause fertility issues, low libido and muscle loss. In recent years, manufacturers of testosterone treatments have launched aggressive advertising ... Read More

Study investigates testosterone side effects

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered manufacturers of testosterone replacement products to add blood clot warnings to the safety labels of the hormones. A new study suggests testosterone supplements may not increase the risk of blood clots, but the risk for heart attacks and strokes in patients who use the therapy remains. The most common forms of blood clots in the veins, also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), are deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). It is the third most common cardiovascular problem after heart attacks and ... Read More