Testosterone prescriptions for older men in the United States have increased more than three-fold over the past decade. Recent studies linking testosterone use with increased risk of heart attack and stroke have caused widespread concern among patients and their families. A new U.S.-based study of more than 25,000 older men shows that testosterone therapy does not increase men’s risk for heart attack.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, examined 25,420 Medicare beneficiaries 66 years or older treated with testosterone for up to eight years. It appears in the July 2 issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
“Our investigation was motivated by a growing concern, in the U.S. and internationally, that testosterone therapy increases men’s risk for cardiovascular disease, specifically heart attack and stroke,” said Jacques Baillargeon, UTMB associate professor of epidemiology in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and lead author of the study. “This concern has increased in the last few years based on the results of a clinical trial and two observational studies,” he said. “It is important to note, however, that there is a large body of evidence that is consistent with our finding of no increased risk of heart attack associated with testosterone use.”
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