New Study Finds Heart Attack Risk Linked to Testosterone Therapy

By Tisha Thompson
|  Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014  |  Updated 7:04 PM EDT
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A new study is warning men to think twice before they start using testosterone therapy because it may double their risk of a heart attack.

Tisha Thompson

A new study is warning men to think twice before they start using testosterone therapy because it may double their risk of a heart attack.

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The News4 I-Team: Low T

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With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, chances are good you will see plenty of commercials about Low T, or low testosterone.

But a new study is warning men to think twice before they start using testosterone therapy because it may double their risk of a heart attack.

Last summer, the News4 I-Team did an investigation into commercials for Low T promising an easy-to-use gel could cure vague symptoms like being moody, having no energy and a low sex drive.

Plenty of men are trying it out. UCLA reports sales of the testosterone gel AndroGel exceeded sales of Viagra last year.

But the I-Team interviewed experts who were worried Low T treatments could be dangerous. But there were no large-scale studies to confirm or deny their concerns.

Which is why the new study from UCLA and NIH is so important.

It followed a large sample of men, more than 55,000, who used testosterone therapy and found the risk of heart attack doubled in men under 65 with heart disease.

It also doubled heart attacks in men older than 65 with or without heart disease.

Many of the men in the study had heart attacks within three months of starting testosterone treatment.

The News4 I-Team reached out to the maker of AndroGel, who told us in a statement, “FDA-approved testosterone-replacement therapies have been used to treat men with low or no testosterone, who have been diagnosed by a physician, for 20 years, with therapeutic risks well documented in the prescribing labels."

It is worth noting that there are men who really need testosterone therapy because of a genetic condition, surgery or certain types of cancer.

The authors of today's study say it is important for patients to talk to their doctors about heart attack risk before they start any kind of testosterone therapy.

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