Older men who receive testosterone in the form of supplements don’t have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch suggests.
Researchers led by Jacques Baillargeon from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch, noted that, while testosterone therapy for older men has increased substantially over the past decade, research on the effects of this therapy on cardiovascular outcomes has yielded inconsistent results.
In response to this, the research team sought to examine the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in a population-based cohort of older men receiving intramuscular testosterone.
The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and published in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, involved 25,420 men who were 66 years or older, of which 6,355 had been treated with at least one injection of testosterone between 1997 and 2005 and 19,065 were testosterone nonusers.
As a result, the team found that receiving testosterone therapy was not associated with an increased risk of MI. In fact, the use of testosterone in men who had a highest risk for heart problems was associated with a reduced risk of MI than men in the same situation who did not receive this treatment.
Testosterone levels decline gradually with age in human beings, and males being predominantly affected. However, there is a general disagreement about when or whether aging men should be treated with testosterone replacement therapy. While there are health issues related to the loss of testosterone levels in the body, there are also side effects caused by testosterone supplementation when the condition is treated, including acne and oily skin, increased hematocrit, sleep apnea, and acceleration of pre-existing prostate cancer.