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Testosterone Therapy Linked to Heart Disease

Update Date: Nov 05, 2013 04:03 PM EST

Testosterone therapy may increase men's risk of heart disease, according to a new study.

New research reveals that men taking testosterone therapy had a 29 percent greater risk of death, heart attack and stroke.

Researchers said that around 3 percent of men over 40 in the US are prescribed testosterone therapy. However, there are not enough studies examining the long-term benefits and risks.

The latest study involved 1,223 men taking testosterone and 7,489 men not using testosterone over a three-year period. Researchers found greater rates of death, heart attacks and strokes in the testosterone group. The findings revealed that 1 in 5 men not taking the therapy had an adverse cardiovascular event compared to 1 in 4 men taking the therapy.

"We do not know if this risk extends to men who are taking testosterone for 'low T syndrome' or younger men taking it for physical enhancement, as there is a lack of long term safety data of testosterone therapy in men," Anne Cappola, MD, ScM, associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a news release.

"But the men who were taking testosterone in this study were slightly healthier to begin with, and surprisingly had a higher risk of catastrophic events," she added.

The findings are published in the journal JAMA

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