The MYTH vs The FACTS:
In 2013 and 2014, two published studies gained widespread media attention when they reported increased cardiovascular risks for men taking testosterone. The intense media coverage of these studies often included data showing the rapid rise in testosterone prescriptions, suggesting that big pharmaceutical companies were promoting “risky” medications.
The media hype had a significant negative impact on patient management. Countless men discontinued treatment and even criticized their physicians for putting them at risk. This, in turn, led many physicians to stop prescribing testosterone and to advise their patients not to use it. The Endocrine Society and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued statements cautioning against the use of testosterone replacement therapy, as plaintiff attorneys nationwide began a campaign seeking cases of heart attack and stroke for a class action lawsuit.
THERE’S ONLY ONE PROBLEM:
More recent, comprehensive studies suggest that the opposite is true, confirming substantial research spanning many decades showing the beneficial effects of normal testosterone levels on cardiovascular risk. Testosterone therapy is associated with reduced fat mass, reduced obesity and waist size, and improved glycemic control which diminishes the risk of heart attack and stroke.
On careful review, neither the 2013 or 2014 studies provide credible evidence of increased cardiovascular risk, according to a report published by the Mayo Clinic. In sharp contrast, numerous studies have reported reductions in the incidence and severity of coronary artery disease in men taking testosterone therapy.
For example, a new multi-year study conducted by the Intermountain Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, and presented at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session, confirmed that testosterone replacement helped men with low testosterone and pre-existing coronary artery disease reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.
"Patients given the higher dose of testosterone actually had the lowest incidence of heart attacks and strokes."
Researchers studied 755 male patients between the ages of 58 and 78, all with severe coronary artery disease. They were split into three different groups which received; high doses of testosterone; medium doses of testosterone; and no testosterone at all.
The results: after one year, 64 patients (around 8.5%) who took no testosterone at all suffered major adverse cardiovascular events, compared with only 12 patients (about 1.6%) who were given medium doses and 9 (roughly 1%) who were taking high doses. Non-testosterone-therapy patients were 80 percent more likely to suffer an adverse event, while patients given the higher dose of testosterone actually had the lowest incidence of heart attacks or strokes.
In summary, there is no convincing evidence that testosterone therapy increases cardiovascular risk. On the contrary, there seems to be strong evidence of the beneficial relationship between normal testosterone levels and good cardiovascular health.
Source: www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/pb/assets/raw/Health Advance/journals/jmcp/jmcp_ft90_1_2.pdf
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