Testosterone therapy – Older men who received the hormonal therapy reported reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Researchers have found that restoring testosterone in older men to normal level may decrease their risk of myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident or death from any cause. They also discovered that men who were treated but did not achieve normal hormone levels did not enjoy the same health benefits as those whose levels did reach normal.
During the study, a team of researchers looked at the health outcomes of more than 83,000 men with documented low testosterone aged 50 and above who received treatment at medical facilities between 1999 and 2014. The experts divided the men into three groups: those who were treated until their total testosterone levels returned to normal, those who were treated but levels did not reach normal, and those whose levels remained low without receiving the testosterone replacement treatment.
All three groups of men were followed-up for few years. They noticed a significant contrast between men who attained normal levels and those who had low testosterone without treatment. During the follow-up period, the treated men were 56 % less like to die, 24 % less like to have a heart attack and 36 % less likely to suffer a stroke than those who were untreated.
The mechanisms behind testosterone’s benefits for overall survival are not exactly known. But the potential factors include body fat, insulin sensitivity, blood platelets, lipids, and other biological pathways.
“It is the first study to demonstrate that significant benefit is observed only if the dose is adequate to normalize the total testosterone levels,” said by one of the researchers.
The findings of the recent study may sway the ongoing debate over the therapy’s benefits and risks, especially for the cardiovascular health. Earlier this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines regarding the treatment, advising the physicians about the over-use of testosterone therapy and warned about a possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke. IMAGE/washingtonpost