New Evidence Suggests Higher Testosterone Wards Off Heart Attacks
Testosterone therapy or T therapy helped men with preexisting coronary artery disease reduce their risks of strokes, heart attacks, and even death.
Men who did not receive testosterone as part of their treatment were 80 percent more likely to suffer an adverse event, such as a heart attack, than those taking T.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that is commonly thought to regulate sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and to be responsible for the production of sperm and red blood cells in men. As men age, they generally make less testosterone at a rate of about 1 to 2 percent per year. A man in his 70s may have half the testosterone he had at age 20.
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Though this may be normal, some men feel the effects more strongly than others. Low testosterone levels may contribute to depression, decreased bone density, increased body fat, insomnia, and diminished sexual desire. For these reasons, some doctors prescribe Testosterone to their patients with only age-related hormone decline.
Researchers worked with 755 patients, between the ages of 58 and 78. All the men suffered from severe coronary artery disease. The researchers split the participants into three separate groups and gave each group either a low dose of testosterone (administered by injection or gel), a high dose of testosterone, or none at all.
After one year, 64 patients who were not taking testosterone supplements suffered a major adverse cardiovascular event, the researchers report. By comparison, only 12 of the men taking medium doses of testosterone and nine taking high doses suffered a similar major event. After three years, 125 non-testosterone-therapy patients suffered major events, while only 38 medium-dose and 22 high-dose patients did.