The Endocrine Society released a statement that older men who are considering taking testosterone for low libido, fatigue, irritability or muscle loss should be made aware of the potential risk of heart attack and stroke.
Heart attack and stroke among the risks of testosterone therapy
Normal testosterone levels fall between 300 and 1,000ng. According to Dr. Shalender Bhasin of Harvard Medical School, testosterone levels naturally begin to decline after age 30. However, the Endocrine Society cautioned doctors against widespread use of testosterone therapy until large scale trials studying the safety and efficacy “Low T” therapy can be completed.
Surprisingly, past studies have found that U.S. men who have been receiving testosterone therapy don’t have documented testosterone measurements.
Experts believe that older men who have pre-existing heart disease should be particularly careful about testosterone until more information on the risks becomes available.
PLOS ONE conducted a study of more than 55,000 men who had a history of heart disease. Within the first 90 days of receiving testosterone therapy those men roughly doubled their risk for heart attack.
Patients seeking this type of therapy should be informed about what is known and unknown regarding the risks.
Side effects include risk of:
Coronary Artery Disease
Alteration of Serum Lipid Profile
How testosterone therapy works
Only men with symptoms of low testosterone and blood levels should consider testosterone replacement.
Symptoms of testosterone therapy include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased sense of well-being
- Difficulties with concentration and memory
- Erectile dysfunction
While testosterone therapy can have side effects the long term risks and benefits are unknown.
Different forms of testosterone therapy are available including:
- Skin Patch
- Mouth patch
- Injections and implants
Before using any type of testosterone therapy it is important to speak with your health care professional.