Studies Show Link Between Testosterone Therapy in Men and Heart Failure, Disease, and Stroke Risk
Several studies in the past year show a link between testosterone therapy treatments and an increased risk in men of heart failure, disease, and stroke.
Testosterone therapy, especially in the form of gels, patches, and injections, have been aggressively marketed to older men or men with low levels of testosterone as a cure-all to fix their sex lives, low energy, and gain muscle mass.
However, medical studies, including one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and one conducted by Veterans Affairs, show that testosterone therapy may offer little or no actual benefit, while increasing the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks in users.
According to the Veterans Affairs study, which tracked 8,700 men nationally, men who underwent testosterone therapy were 30% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or die from a cardiac episode, during a three-year period than men with low testosterone who did not take supplements. Most of the men involved in the study had other problems such as high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and diabetes, and all the participants were in their 60’s or older.
Prior to taking part in the testosterone therapy study, all the participants were underwent heart imaging and many had risk factors for heart attacks or strokes. However, nearly 26% of the participants using testosterone therapy had one of the potential bad outcomes during the course of the three-year study, compared to 20% of nonusers.
While most of the studies have not conclusively shown a direct link between testosterone therapy and heart attack or stroke risk, researchers warn that testosterone therapy seems to significantly increase risk when other risk factors exist.
“Although physicians should continue to discuss the 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 might be harmful,” the researchers said.
“There is only anecdotal evidence that testosterone is safe for these men,” said editorial author Dr. Anne Cappola, a hormone expert at University of Pennsylvania and an associate journal editor.
“In light of the high volume of prescriptions and aggressive marketing by testosterone manufacturers, prescribers and patients should be wary” and more research is needed, she wrote.
It is also important to note that the FDA has never approved testosterone therapy as a treatment for low libido or low energy. “None of the testosterone products have indications for weight loss, increasing energy or improving mood,” said Andrea Fischer, a spokeswoman for the FDA, in comments published in the New York Times.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Dangerous Drug Cases, Including Testosterone Therapy and Supplements
Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. is a leader in the consumer protection battle against dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices, from Actos to testosterone therapy. We represent individuals who have been killed or injured by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals. If you or a family member have been injured or killed after using a dangerous drugs or medical products such as testosterone therapy or supplements, contact our dangerous drug lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin taking steps to preserve evidence and your claim immediately. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800