Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attacks, Stroke, Study Finds | KERA News

Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attacks, Stroke, Study Finds

Nov 6, 2013

Low-T is back in the news, but the latest isn’t a boost for the testosterone business. Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Associationshowing men taking testosterone therapy had a 29% greater risk of death, heart attack and stroke than those not on the hormone replacement.

[More from KERA News: High Times For ‘Low T’: Inside A Testosterone-Fueled Phenomenon]

In the last decade, the percentage of men being treated for low testosterone more than tripled, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch. It’s never been easier to start testosterone replacement therapy – there are gels, patches, shots, even tablets. Despite the plethora of options for taking testosterone, there is still little medical research on the effects of hormone replacement therapy in men.

The UT Southwestern study included 8,709 men with low testosterone levels who underwent coronary angiography — a special X-ray test done to find out if your coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed. Researchers found the number of patients with heart problems such as strokes and heart attacks three years after their tests was 25.7% for those who were on testosterone and 19.9% for those not taking the hormone supplement.

“These findings raise concerns about the potential safety of testosterone therapy,” the authors write. “Future studies including randomized controlled trials are needed to properly characterize the potential risks of testosterone therapy in men with comorbidities.”

Testosterone therapy is so popular, prescriptions for it reached 5.3 million a year in 2011, according to the study.