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Testosterone Therapy not Linked to Heart Attack Risk

Update Date: Jul 02, 2014 02:22 PM EDT

Testosterone therapy has often been linked to increasing one's risk of health conditions, such as stroke and heart attack. In a new study, researchers examined the risk of heart attack further and found that contrary to other studies, testosterone therapy did not increase older people's risk of heart attack.

"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, 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. 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."

For this study, the researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined 25,420 patients on Medicare. They were all aged 66 or older and had been treated with testosterone therapy for up to eight years. The researchers compared the health of these men to a group of men who did not take testosterone therapy but were of the same age, race, Medicaid eligibility and health status.

The researchers found that men who were on testosterone therapy did not have a greater risk of suffering from a heart attack. The team even found that when they compared men from both groups who had a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, the ones taking testosterone therapy had a lower risk of heart attack in comparison to the men who were not receiving treatment.

"This is a rigorous analysis of a large number of patients," said Baillargeon according to Medical Xpress. "Our findings did not show an increased risk of heart attack associated with testosterone use in older men. However, large-scale, randomized clinical trials will provide more definitive evidence regarding these risks in the coming years."

The study, "Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Older Men Receiving Testosterone Therapy," was published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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