Testosterone Therapy Side Effects Linked to Heart Attacks, Strokes, Death

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson

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The findings of new research suggest that men may face an increased risk of serious heart problems from side effects of testosterone treatments, which have become increasingly popular amid direct-to-consumers marketing of “Low T” ads.  

In a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver indicate that men taking testosterone therapy may face an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and even death during the years after taking the drugs.

Testosterone therapy is increasingly being prescribed to men who have trouble producing the hormone on their own. The condition, known as hypogonadism, results in lower strength and energy and reduced sexual function. However, not all men taking testosterone therapy have actually been diagnosed with hypogonadism.

Researchers conducted a retrospective national cohort study of more than 8,700 men with low testosterone levels. Out of 1,223 patients who took testosterone treatments, in just a year and a half 67 died, 23 had heart attacks, and 33 had strokes. The researchers found that the rate of events was 25.7% in the group that took testosterone therapy drugs, while the rate among the 7,486 patients that did not was only 19.9%.

The study notes that the extent of testosterone side effects on the heart and on the lifespan of users are not known. One recent trial on testosterone in older men was cancelled due to the risk of cardiovascular events to test subjects, the researchers revealed.

“Our findings raise some uncertainty regarding the potential safety of testosterone use in men,” the researchers concluded. “Although physicians should continue to discuss the symptomatic benefits of testosterone therapy with patients, it is also important to inform patients that long-term risks are unknown and there is a possibility that testosterone therapy may be harmful.”

According to the research, the use of testosterone therapy has increased more than five-fold from 2000 to 2011. There were 5.3 million prescriptions for testosterone treatments in 2011, with a market of $1.6 billion.

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  1. Catalina Reply

    My husband died on Oct 27th, 2013, of a MASSIVE HEART ATTACK
    after being taking the testorerone replacement theraphy ANDROGEL
    for about 6 months, He never had Heart problems or family history of heart problems. His doctor used to tell him that he was going to live into his 90’s. He was not in the risk group. Not to worry about it. My husband was 63 year YOUNG when he died. I have asked the doctor to go public with the story, after he left me a message where he said he will help me in my crusade against this medication. But, when I asked to put an ad in the paper warning the public. He decided to ignore my request and stick his head in hole in the sand like an OSTRICH. If we can’t do anything for my husband anymore, all I want is to save lives in his name. His death can’t be in vain.
    If some can help me please!!!

  2. Michael Reply

    I also am a 63 old male who was on injection treatments of Testosterone for about 6 weeks before a blood clot from my leg caused a major attack with me, leaving me with Congestive Heart Failure.I do,however, have a family history and smoked for many years before I quit about 10 years ago. I was not informed of any Heart health risks by my Doctor as I can recall.I am now waiting for a transplant.

  3. Allan Reply

    I have been taking testosterone gel for about 8 years. I will be 64 tomorrow. So far no problems that I can relate to this product. My blood pressure is currently about 110 over 65 and my resting pulse is 45 bpm. I am 5’8″ tall and weigh 153 pounds. I have run 2300-3500 miles a year each of the last 20 years. I hope to complete ten ultramarathons (including six 100-mile races) this year. I am taking this medication under a doctors supervision due to low bone density assumed due to low natural testosterone given my bone density would otherwise be expected to be much higher given how much I run.

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