"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Are Testosterone Supplements Linked to Cardiovascular Problems?

By Charlie Schmidt

It is normal for men to lose some strength as they age. But a growing variety of men are attempting to keep up their youthful vigor by taking testosterone. Marketers hawk testosterone with guarantees of higher sex drive, increased energy, more muscle and other age-defying advantages. This has been a successful strategy. Through direct-to-consumer promoting, the variety of American men with testosterone prescriptions increased from 1.3 million in 2011 to 2.3 million in 2013, mostly within the 40-64 age group.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved testosterone products just for men who don't make enough of the hormone. These men have a medically diagnosed condition called hypogonadism, which is characterised by testosterone levels which can be below normal, normally lower than 300 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood. decreases. Testosterone supplements can relieve symptoms in these men, comparable to erectile dysfunction, low energy levels, muscle mass, and weak bone strength.

But growing evidence suggests that testosterone therapy also can cause heart problems, including heart attacks and strokes, especially in men with pre-existing heart disease. The evidence is in no way conclusive—some studies have found these risks, others haven't.

Although the advantages of taking testosterone likely outweigh the risks for hypogonadal men, the identical is probably not true for older men who take testosterone because they think it can make them feel and appear younger. In fact, recent evidence suggests that just about 1 / 4 of men with a testosterone prescription have never had their hormone levels tested. Whether or not older men on this so-called “low T” population profit from taking testosterone stays an open query.

There is concern over potential health risks. Asked the FDA to investigate Risk of heart attack, stroke, and death amongst men taking FDA-approved testosterone products.


Two recent studies have raised health concerns over testosterone. The first, published last 12 months. Jama, linked the use of testosterone supplements to a nearly 30 percent increased risk of death. More than 8,700 men enrolled within the Veterans Affairs Health System between 2005 and 2011 with low testosterone levels as a result of heart attack, stroke, or one other cause.

Another study found a two-fold increase in heart attack risk in men over 65 inside 90 days of receiving a testosterone prescription. This research, Published last year in PLOS One., found that young men with a history of heart disease had a threefold increased risk of heart attack inside 90 days of taking testosterone supplements. No such increase was seen in young men without pre-existing heart disease.

As a part of its review process, the FDA convened an authority panel and tasked it with reviewing key studies. After completing its review, the panel made several recommendations:

  • Doctors have to document the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in men before prescribing hormones.
  • Testosterone products' labels should explain the potential for cardiovascular risk.
  • Before a person starts taking testosterone, his doctor should check his cardiovascular history and follow a routine to find out when and if treatment ought to be stopped.

The FDA's review of testosterone health risks continues to be ongoing, and officials stress that approved testosterone products haven't been conclusively shown to extend the chance of heart attack, stroke or death. . A final decision shall be made after the FDA review is complete.