Facebook Pixel

Testosterone Therapy May Increase Risk of Heart Attack, Study Shows

By HERWriter
Rate This
risk of heart attack may increase with testosterone therapy Auremar/PhotoSpin

If you or your partner is looking to spice up your love life, commercials for drugs to treat “low T” may have you looking at testosterone therapy as a solution for low male sex drive.

But a new study carried out jointly by UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research, Inc. suggests that testosterone therapy may significantly increase the risk of heart attack.

“Low T” is advertising code that refers to low levels of the hormone testosterone. Hormones are chemical messengers that carry instructions from the brain to other parts of the body.

Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for adult male features including growth of the penis and testes, facial hair, depth of voice and musculature.

Testosterone also affects libido or sex drive. Approximately 5 million men in the United States have low testosterone levels, according to the National Institutes of Health. This can result in a decreased sex drive, poor or no erections also known as erectile dysfunction, lower sperm count and larger breasts.

Testosterone levels naturally decline as a man gets older. Other causes of low testosterone include damage to the cells in the testicles caused by accidents, inflammation or disease such as cancer. Some drugs such as morphine and anabolic steroids can also cause testosterone levels to be lower than normal.

Advertisements promote testosterone therapy as a potential “cure” for the affects of low testosterone through the use of testosterone in a gel or patch.

The recent study used data from Truven Health Analytics to examine the cardiovascular risks for men both over and under the age of 65 who used testosterone therapy. Researchers considered medical records of 48,539 men under age 65 and 7,054 men over age 65. They concluded that men with heart disease who used testosterone therapy before age 65 double their risk of heart attack.

In addition, the study confirmed previous research that showed men over age 65 had a twofold increase in heart attack risk after using testosterone therapy regardless of any previous indications of heart disease.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

The following is a major research basis for their findings. I chalk that up to Media Scare. You can look at the numbers, I have them here to make it easier to review. The medical research is on the bottom. Grab a calculator, come to your own conclusion. My conclusion is, the numbers give the opposite results. If you are in GA, OR or NC, there is a medical facility giving free consultations, Program 27. www.program27.com

November 6, 2013 : “Association of TRT with mortality, myocardial infarction, & stroke in men with low T”

8,709 veterans with LOW T ; 2005 -2011, retrospective study through VA

1,223 ON TRT 7,486 No therapy
67 Died 681 Died
23 MI’s 420 MI’s
33 Strokes 486 Strokes
123 Incidents in 1,223 men 1,587 Incidents in 7,486 men
1/ 9.9 men approx. 1 in 10 1/4.72 approx. 1 in 5 men

Following the theory of compensating for the population difference of the men without TRT is 6.12 times greater than the population on TRT…we can multiply to compare the results…..
1,223 x 6.12 = 7,485
67 x 6.12 = 410
23 x 6.12 = 140
33 x 6.12 = 202
Actual figures of the population WITHOUT TRT to the compensated TRT numbers:
410 projected versus 681
140 projected versus 420
202 projected versus 486

The Published conclusion states risk factor INCREASED ON TESTOSTERONE THERAPY, with a 5% increase of risks. How do they get that????

US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health
RResult Filters
JAMA. 2013 Nov 6;310(17):1829-36. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.280386.
Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels.
Vigen R1, O'Donnell CI, Barón AE, Grunwald GK, Maddox TM, Bradley SM, Barqawi A, Woning G, Wierman ME, Plomondon ME, Rumsfeld JS, Ho PM.
Author information
Rates of testosterone therapy are increasing and the effects of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality are unknown. A recent randomized clinical trial of testosterone therapy in men with a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases was stopped prematurely due to adverse cardiovascular events raising concerns about testosterone therapy safety.
To assess the association between testosterone therapy and all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke among male veterans and to determine whether this association is modified by underlying coronary artery disease.
A retrospective national cohort study of men with low testosterone levels (<300 ng/dL) who underwent coronary angiography in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system between 2005 and 2011.
Primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality, MI, and ischemic stroke.
Of the 8709 men with a total testosterone level lower than 300 ng/dL, 1223 patients started testosterone therapy after a median of 531 days following coronary angiography. Of the 1710 outcome events, 748 men died, 443 had MIs, and 519 had strokes. Of 7486 patients not receiving testosterone therapy, 681 died, 420 had MIs, and 486 had strokes. Among 1223 patients receiving testosterone therapy, 67 died, 23 had MIs, and 33 had strokes. The absolute rate of events were 19.9% in the no testosterone therapy group vs 25.7% in the testosterone therapy group, with an absolute risk difference of 5.8% (95% CI, -1.4% to 13.1%) at 3 years after coronary angiography. In Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for the presence of coronary artery disease, testosterone therapy use as a time-varying covariate was associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes (hazard ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.58). There was no significant difference in the effect size of testosterone therapy among those with and without coronary artery disease (test for interaction, P = .41).
Among a cohort of men in the VA health care system who underwent coronary angiography and had a low serum testosterone level, the use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes. These findings may inform the discussion about the potential risks of testosterone therapy.
Comment in
• Testosterone therapy and risk of cardiovascular disease in men. [JAMA. 2013]

February 21, 2014 - 1:26pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Heart Attack

Get Email Updates

Heart Attack Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!