Testosterone Therapy Could Improve Heart Conditions of Aged Men
In the study conducted on 83 000 patients from the Veterans Affairs database, researchers discovered that men who underwent testosterone
replacement therapy experienced significant reduction in heart attack rate. According to the researchers, this is the first study to demonstrate the benefits of testosterone therapy among the old men who are vulnerable to heart diseases. The study revealed that patients who did not achieve positive results during the therapy also failed to have a reduced heart attack and/or stroke rate.
In this context of men’s health, the main debate has been whether the testosterone therapy can cause more harm than good. In the beginning of this year, the FDA updated the labels of testosterone products with a warning about possible risk factors of heart attacks and stroke. Nevertheless, the findings of the study could influence many people, because of the large number of patients involved and the follow-up duration.
During the study, the researchers examined the health conditions of men aged over 50 with low levels of testosterone who received treatment in Veteran Affairs healthcare facilities between 1999 and 2014. They categorized the study samples into three groups. The first group included men who received treatment until their testosterone levels normalized. The second group involved men who received treatment but their testosterone levels did not normalize. The third group included men who did not receive testosterone replacement treatment and their testosterone levels remained low. The follow-up period across the groups ranged between 4 to 6 years.
To ensure fair comparisons among the groups, researchers involved men with similar health profiles in the study. In comparison to those who did not receive the treatment, the men who received the treatment and got their testosterone levels back to normal were 56 percent less likely to die, 25 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, and 36 percent less likely to suffer stroke. Researchers also recorded the same observation when comparing the first group and the second group.
However, one of the researchers said, “the mechanisms behind these outcomes still remain hypothetical. There is a need for more research on the subject.” He suggested that potential factors that researchers should continue to look into include insulin sensitivity, body fat, lipids, inflammation, and blood platelets. On the other hand, Dr. Rajat Barua of the Kansas City Veteran Affairs Medical Center said, “There is a need for appropriate selection, screening and follow-up of patients in order to get maximum benefits of the testosterone therapy.”
Many clinicians approve the use of testosterone therapy. One clinician at Kansas City Veteran Affairs said, “Although the related medical conditions are not apparent, the testosterone therapy is justified.” The researchers also suggest that the treatment should be given to men who have related health conditions.