Men taking testosterone therapy face an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, according to new research.
The study, titled “Increased Risk of Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction Following Testosterone Therapy Prescription in Men,” was published yesterday in PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed online publication.
Researchers, led by experts from the University of California – Los Angeles, examined medical records of 56,000 men after they filled a prescription for testosterone treatment. They found men older than 65 who took testosterone supplements were twice as likely to experience heart attack or stroke within the first few months of taking the drug compared to men who didn’t. For younger men with a history of heart disease, their risk of heart attack or stroke was three times as high.
“That’s equivalent to smoking one or two packs of cigarettes a day, or having sky-high cholesterol,” said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, in a USA Today article about the increased risk.
This study is the most recent in a growing body of research that raises concerns about the increased risk associated with taking testosterone therapy. Experts are now calling on the Food & Drug Administration to require drug companies who sell testosterone therapy to conduct clinical trials to further examine the drug’s heart risk.