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Testosterone Therapy Linked with Twofold Increase of Heart Attack Risk in Older Men

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Jan 30, 2014 09:20 AM EST
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(Photo : REUTERS/Shaun Best )

Testosterone therapy doubles heart attack risk in men under 65 years of age, according to a latest study.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research Inc, also confirmed findings of previous research that associated testosterone therapy with heart attack risk in men older than 65 years. The risk was higher in men who had a history of heart disease.

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In the U.S nearly 2.9 percent of all men aged 40 years or above use testosterone therapy to cope with symptoms of low testosterone, or "low T.' Recently, University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas and their colleagues reported that men on this therapy have a 30 percent increased risk of heart disease and stroke than other men. Another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine had found an increase in cardiovascular events in men who were using testosterone therapy.

Data for the present study came from Truven Health Analytics. Researchers looked at health records of 55,593 men who were on testosterone therapy; of these 48,539 were under age 65.

 They found that men less than 65 years of age and with a history of heart disease were at two times higher risk of heart attack than men without history of heart disease, according to a news release.

"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.Patients and their physicians should discuss the risk of heart attacks when considering testosterone therapy," said lead author Sander Greenland, 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.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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