Although recent research has linked testosterone therapy with a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, a new study involving more than 25,000 older men suggests otherwise. The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published online in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
Researchers examined data collected from more than 25,420 Medicare beneficiaries older than 65 years. The men received testosterone therapy for up to 8 years. The study also included a control group of similar men who were not treated with testosterone therapy.
Results showed that testosterone therapy was not linked with any increased risk for heart attack. In fact, men at greater risk for heart problems who used testosterone actually had a lower rate of heart attacks than similar men who did not receive this treatment, the researchers said.
“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,” lead researcher Jacques Baillargeon, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said in a university news release.
“This concern has increased in the last few years based on the results of a clinical trial and two observational studies,” he said. “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.”