Testosterone therapy may reduce heart attack, stroke risk

Testosterone therapy may help reduce risks of major adverse cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attacks, in elderly men with coronary artery disease, a new study has found.

Washington: Testosterone therapy may help reduce risks of major adverse cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attacks, in elderly men with coronary artery disease, a new study has found.

The study showed that patients who received testosterone as part of their follow-up treatment fared much better than patients who did not. Non-testosterone-therapy patients were 80 per cent more likely to suffer an adverse event, researchers said.

"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 Brent Muhlestein, from the Intermountain Medical Centre Heart Institute in US.

"That was the case even in the highest-risk men - those with known pre-existing heart disease," said Muhlestein. The researchers studied 755 male patients between the ages of 58 and 78 who all had severe coronary artery disease.

They were split into three different groups, which received varied doses of testosterone administered either by injection or gel.

According to the researchers, after a year, 64 patients who were not 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 study indicates that hypo-androgenic men with coronary artery disease might actually be protected by testosterone replacement, this is an observational study that doesn't provide enough evidence to justify changing treatment recommendations," Muhlestein said.

"It does, however, substantiate the need for a randomized clinical trial that can confirm or refute the results of this study," he said.

The study confirms the findings of a 2015 study, which found that taking supplemental testosterone did not increase the risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke for men who had low testosterone levels and no prior history of heart disease.

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