About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Serious Health Risks Increase in Older Men Taking Testosterone Treatment

by Thilaka Ravi on November 6, 2013 at 7:58 AM
Font : A-A+

Serious Health Risks Increase in Older Men Taking Testosterone Treatment

Older men treated with testosterone face a higher risk of death, heart attacks and strokes, cautions a study released Tuesday citing reasons why the hormone therapy may need to be reconsidered.

The researchers followed more than 8,700 men who had low levels of the hormone, of whom 1,223 took a testosterone supplement for a median period of around two years.


Three years later, nearly one in five of the men who had not taken a supplement had suffered a heart attack or stroke, or had died.

That figure jumped to one in four among the group who had been treated with testosterone -- an overall increased risk of nearly 30 percent.

The increased risk of catastrophic events was especially notable, said researcher Anne Cappola of the University of Pennsylvania, because "the men who were taking testosterone in this study were slightly healthier to begin with."

The men receiving testosterone also tended to be younger -- they had an average age of 61, compared to an average age of 64 for the untreated men.

"These findings raise concerns about the potential safety of testosterone therapy," the authors, including lead researcher Rebecca Vigan of the University of Texas, wrote in the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They said further studies were needed "to properly characterize the potential risks," especially among older men or men with other risk factors.

The number of annual prescriptions for testosterone therapy increased five-fold between 2000 and 2011 in the United States, reaching 5.3 million prescriptions worth about $1.6 billion, the authors emphasized.

The therapy is recommended for those with below-normal levels of the hormone whose symptoms include diminished sex drive, low energy, and worsening memory.

In addition to improving sex drive and bone density, the hormone has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength.

It is not clear from this research whether the increased risk of death, heart attack and stroke existed among patients prescribed testosterone therapy for "low T syndrome" or younger men taking it for physical enhancement, Cappola said.

An ongoing randomized trial of more than 800 men over the age of 65 receiving testosterone or a placebo could help provide guidance for older men considering testosterone therapy.

Until more is known, however, "prescribers and patients should be wary," she said.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Andropause / Male Menopause Adreno Cortical Carcinoma Is Your Man Moody? Health Insurance - India High Testosterone Level In Women / Hyperandrogenism 

Recommended Reading
Andropause / Male Menopause
Andropause or male menopause causing low libido in a man is due to decreasing level of male ......
Testosterone to the Rescue-New Ways to Improve Men's Health
Testosterone, a vital male hormone, largely responsible for the development and enhancement of male ...
Testosterone Deficiency and Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone is an anabolic steroid hormone of the androgen group. It is secreted by the testes in ....
Heart Attack - Animation
Animation of Heart Attack symptoms. Heart attack is caused due to ischemia of the heart muscles ......
Adreno Cortical Carcinoma
Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that affects the outer cortex laye...
Health Insurance - India
Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance indust...
High Testosterone Level In Women / Hyperandrogenism
High levels of testosterone in women, also known as hyperandrogenism is an endocrine disorder charac...
Is Your Man Moody?
Women get confused by the behavior of men in their lives. It is time they realize that men too have ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use