New York: Testosterone therapy can help the elderly - suffering from low testosterone levels and pre-existing heart condition - reduce their risks of stroke, heart attacks and death, researchers report.
The study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City showed that patients who received testosterone as part of their follow-up treatment fared much better than patients who didn't.
Non-testosterone-therapy patients were 80 percent more likely to suffer an adverse event.
"The study shows that using testosterone replacement therapy to increase testosterone to normal levels in androgen-deficient men doesn't increase their risk of a serious heart attack or stroke,” said cardiologist Brent Muhlestein.
That was the case even in the highest-risk men -- those with known pre-existing heart disease.
The research team studied 755 male patients between the ages of 58 and 78 at Intermountain Medical Center who had severe coronary artery disease.
They were split into three different groups which received varied doses of testosterone administered either by injection or gel.
After one year, 64 patients who weren't taking testosterone supplements suffered major adverse cardiovascular events while only 12 who were taking medium doses of testosterone and nine who were taking high doses did.
After three years, 125 non-testosterone-therapy patients suffered major adverse cardiovascular events, while only 38 medium-dose and 22 high-dose patients did.
“Although this is an observational study, it does, however, substantiate the need for a randomised clinical trial that can confirm or refute the results,” Muhlestein noted.
The team presented the results at the American College of Cardiology's 65th annual scientific session in Chicago last weekend.