Rough diagram of pain zones in myocardial infarction; dark red: most typical area, light red: other possible areas; view of the chest

Rough diagram of pain zones in myocardial infarction; dark red: most typical area, light red: other possible areas; view of the chest

As men age, their bodies begin to produce the hormone testosterone in lower degrees which leads to an increased propensity to put on weight and a decreased libido (sex drive). With particular emphasis on the latter, men engage in taking pills to restore their sex drive with Viagra or in some cases testosterone supplements.

Now, a study from the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System has been released which that indicates men taking testosterone treatments run a 29% increase in the likelihood of suffering a heart attack. The study was conducted on a sample of men mainly in their early 60s who already had clogged arteries, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other physical ailments.

“There is only anecdotal evidence that testosterone is safe for these men,” said editorial author Dr. Anne Cappola, a hormone expert at University of Pennsylvania and an associate journal editor.

Doctors and patients should be wary of the aggressive marketing used by testosterone manufacturers, Cappola said.

“There’s a lot of marketing out there of testosterone and low-T syndrome, and a lot of men who want to feel better,” she said. “So that marketing appeals to them, but they are not hearing any of the risks side, which is often harder to quantify.”

“In light of the high volume of prescriptions and aggressive marketing by testosterone manufacturers, prescribers and patients should be wary” and more research is needed, she wrote in an editorial accompanying the Testosterone heart risk study.

The Testosterone heart risk study that that if a man is not in excellent health, there’s nothing about the testosterone treatments that will improve their health. It should be noted that the study was inconclusive as the health risks the treatments pose to younger healthier males.

Testosterone treatments were originally prescribed for men with hypogonadism, a condition where the body produces too little of the hormone. However, as the benefits for those suffering hypogonadism has been an increased sex drive, the treatments are now being pitched to a broader spectrum of men increasing the health risks due to the side effects.

“These findings raise concerns about the potential safety of testosterone,” the researchers concluded.

The Testosterone Heart Risk study was funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

On The Web:
Testosterone treatments may increase risk of heart problems in men: study
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/testosterone-linked-heart-risks-men-study-article-1.1507645

Testosterone Heart Risk Link
http://www.livescience.com/40964-testosterone-therapy-heart-disease.html