If you’re a male who has undergone testosterone therapy to treat symptoms of Low-T levels, take note. Results of a recent study show a definitive link between testosterone therapy and heart attacks.
In the study, conducted jointly by the University of California, Los Angeles and the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research, analyst reviewed data from Truven Health Analytics, which aggregate information on patient care. Data included health care records of 55,593 men who had been prescribed testosterone therapy. Of them, 48,539 were under the age of 65 and 7,054 were 65 or older.
Researchers found a two-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in men under age 65 with a history of heart disease shortly after undergoing testosterone therapy treatment. Researchers also found a two-fold boost in heart attack risk for patients over 65, regardless of a history of coronary health issues.
Symptoms of Low-T can include reduced muscle mass, decrease in bone strength and energy, increased body fat, depression, reduced sex drive and sexual dysfunction – all factors that can significantly affect a man’s health and confidence. So, it’s no surprise that marketing efforts for Low-T treatments have been so successful. Statistics show that the number of testosterone therapy prescriptions has tripled nationwide since 2001, despite the fact that clinical cases of Low-T remain relatively rare, affecting just five percent of men of all ages, and 20 percent of men age 70 and older. Many experts suspect that manufacturers of drugs used to treat low testosterone levels in patients may be using trumped up symptoms to push sales.
Meanwhile, patients may be needlessly risking their health.
“The extensive and rapidly increasing use of testosterone treatment and the evidence of risk of heart attack underscore the urgency of further large studies of the risks and the benefits of this treatment,” said the study’s senior author, Sander Greenland, also a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a professor of statistics in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. “Patients and their physicians should discuss the risk of heart attacks when considering testosterone therapy.”