New Study Debunks Link Between Testosterone Supplementation And Heart Attacks: STAT News

A recent study involving 5,246 patients has found that testosterone supplementation does not increase the risk of heart attacks in men with low levels of the hormone, reversing earlier findings, STAT News reports.

Study Findings: Despite the reassuring results, the researchers, led by Shalender Bhasin, a professor at Harvard Medical School, emphasized that the study does not address the use of testosterone-containing products in men with normal testosterone levels.

The study, called TRAVERSE, involved men with low testosterone levels who were randomly assigned to receive either a testosterone gel or a placebo. The outcomes tracked included cardiovascular death, heart attack, or stroke.

Results and Side Effects: Cardiovascular death, heart attack, or stroke occurred in 7% of the testosterone group and 7.3% of the placebo group, indicating little difference between the two.

However, testosterone supplementation did show some side effects, including arrhythmias requiring medical intervention and acute kidney injury. The study also noted no difference in the rate of benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer.

Implications and Concerns: The researchers cautioned against using the study to justify widespread prescribing of testosterone.

Bhasin, who is also a lead author of the Endocrine Society’s guidelines on treating low testosterone levels, stated that the condition occurs in about 3% of men aged 40 to 85. The study was specifically designed for men with low testosterone levels, not as a tonic for aging men.

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