Testosterone Supplements and Heart Health
- Posted on: Apr 1 2014
Taking a testosterone supplement might increase men’s risk of suffering a heart attack, according to a new medical study.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, looked at more than 55,000 men who had started taking testosterone. Testosterone supplements have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat conditions linked to low testosterone levels, also referred to as “low T”.
Researchers studied the heart health of the men within 90 days of their starting testosterone. Their findings showed that among men 65 and older, the risk of having a heart attack more than doubled.
Among men younger than 65 who had a history of heart disease, the risk almost tripled. The finding’s numbers were adjusted to account for other health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.
A previous study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2013 found a higher rate of heart attacks, strokes and deaths among 1,223 men who were taking testosterone therapy, compared to those who didn’t receive the hormone treatment.
Along with treating low T levels, testosterone supplements, which can be prescribed in pill or gel form, and as patches or injections, have been prescribed to treat symptoms such as fatigue, depression, erectile dysfunction and sleep apnea. Previous research has shown that many of the men taking the supplement actually have normal testosterone levels.
Testosterone has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the number of testosterone treatment prescriptions growing from 1 Million in 2000 to more than 5.3 million prescriptions in 2011, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the U.S. alone, prescriptions for testosterone have yielded more than $1.6 billion in sales. In fact, the sale of AndroGel, the leading testosterone replacement, surpassed Viagra’s sales in 2012.
The UCLA study’s findings have prompted the FDA to evaluate the new information and further review the safety of testosterone supplements. If you are currently taking testosterone or are contemplating trying it as hormone replacement therapy, make sure to consult with a cardiologist to learn how to maintain your heart health.
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