Normalizing Testosterone may Lower Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

Taking testosterone supplements may do more than just raise the level of the hormone in men with low testosterone.

A new study shows that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) could lower risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke, reports the European Heart Journal.

Researchers at the Kansas City VA medical centre examined the effect of TRT on cardiovascular outcomes using the largest cohort of patients and the longest follow-up for TRT to date.

Data from 83,010 male veterans, all without history of myocardial infarction or stroke, who were treated between December 1999 and May 2014 was used to establish that only 63 per cent of patients achieved normal testosterone levels after TRT.

More importantly, the group who had normalized testosterone levels after TRT had significantly fewer deaths and cardiovascular events than those who did not.

“With such widespread and ever increasing use of TRT, there has been growing concern regarding its effect on mortality, as well as conflicting results,” said cardiologist Rajat Barua. “Our aim was to address the knowledge gap.”

He explained, “In this study of men, without previous history MI or stroke, with low testosterone levels, normalization of testosterone levels using TRT is associated with lower mortality, fewer MIs, and strokes. This is the first study to demonstrate that significant benefit is observed only if the dose is adequate to normalize the testosterone levels.”

The paper stresses that more research, especially randomized controlled trials with long-term follow-up, would be needed to reach a definite conclusion on the risk of TRT on cardiovascular outcomes.

Dr. Barua added “Until then, there is a need for guideline-directed TRT with continuous active surveillance to maximize the benefits of TRT and to mitigate potential risks.”