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NEW STUDY: Testosterone Treatments May Increase Risk of Heart Disease For Older Men

Scientists found men over 60 with low hormone levels and other health problems were most at risk of stroke or death.
 
 
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Testosterone products such as gels, patches and injections have been widely successful in boosting libido for men suffering from a low sex drive or erectile dysfunction, and doctors have been quick to precribe them. However, new research has raised concerns about added testosterone's  safety in revealing potentially dangerous side effects. 

The new study has found that older men with low hormone levels and additional health problems who take testosterone are more at risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack or dying, CTV News reported.

The nation-wide study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, analyzed the health data on 8,700 veterans with low levels of testosterone, the main sex hormone.  Many had showed signs of previous risk to heart problems including blocked heart arteries.  

The results found that men who used testosterone were 30 percent more likely to have a higher risk of stroke, heart attack or death during a three-year period than men with low hormones levels who didn’t take supplements.

Moreover, nearly 26 percent of men using testosterone had one of three bad outcomes listed within three years of the heart test, compared to 20 percent of non-users. 

Dr. P. Michael Ho who worked on the study said it’s unclear what the findings mean for younger healthier men who take testosterone:

"It does kind of raise the question of, maybe when patients and their physicians are thinking about starting testosterone therapy, potential risks such as the ones we looked at should be in that discussion," he said, the  NY Daily News reported.

According to the study, prescriptions for testosterone supplements have increased dramatically over the last couple of years, climbing to more than 5 million and $1.6 billion in U.S. sales in 2011.

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Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

 

 
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