Testosterone and heart diseaseOctober 20, 2015 October 20, 2015
In a recent recent study on testosterone doctors suggest that testosterone may protect against heart disease in aging men.
Doctors writing in The World Journal of Men’s Health say that a high testosterone level may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.”1 This research agrees with another study of men who have undergone testosterone replacement therapy has found that taking supplemental testosterone does not increase their risk of experiencing a major adverse cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, which is the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system, studied 5,695 men between the ages of 53 and 71. The men, all patients at Intermountain Healthcare hospitals, had initial low testosterone levels.
The researchers found that men who received testosterone supplementation to achieve normal or high testosterone levels had reduced overall rates of major adverse cardiac events at one and three years after their initial low levels of testosterone were measured, compared to other men who had persistently low levels of testosterone. The lower rate of cardiac events included a reduction in the adjusted risk of death and a reduction in heart attacks.2
Another study from researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, examined 25,420 Medicare beneficiaries 66 years or older treated with testosterone for up to eight years and found no increased risk of heart attack associated with testosterone use.3
What does low testosterone levels do to the aging male heart?
Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of premature death in men. Research has shown that a high prevalence of men with low serum testosterone levels are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Research has also shown Testosterone has beneficial effects on several cardiovascular risk factors, which include cholesterol, endothelial dysfunction and inflammation: key mediators of atherosclerosis.4
Testosterone deficiency plays a role chronic heart failure. Reduction in circulating testosterone level is a predictor of deterioration of functional capacity over time. This deterioration is seen as reduced muscle mass, abnormal energy handling, fatigue, dyspnea (shortness of breath) and, finally, cachexia (weakness, muscle loss). 4
Here is recent information released by the American Heart Association in regards to Testosterone supplementation in cardiac patients:
“Testosterone supplements helped heart failure patients breathe better and exercise more, according to research in Circulation Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.
Low testosterone linked to heart disease
Researchers analyzed four randomized clinical trials of patients with moderate to severe chronic heart failure. Patients were given commercial testosterone supplements by injection, patch or gel.
Based on the analysis of these studies, those who received supplemental testosterone scored 50 percent better in a six-minute walking test than those receiving placebo.
Also, in two of the studies, the severity of heart failure as measured by the New York Heart Association classification system improved one to two grades in 35 percent of treated patients compared to 9.8 percent of those who didn’t receive the supplements. Researchers noted gains in muscle and skeletal endurance that appeared quickly and lasted for a least one year.
The studies included 198 patients, 84 percent men, averaging 67 years of age. One study exclusively in women who were taking lower doses of testosterone than men, found similar improvements.
No significant adverse events were reported, including treatment- or exercise-related cardiovascular events, and there was no increase in prostate cancer or abnormal prostate health parameters in the men.”
Testosterone supplementation under physician supervision
In other research agrees: “Testosterone replacement therapy in middle aged obese men with partial androgen deficiency appeared safe and might have promoted the effects of a weight reduction diet and daily exercise program as long as an adequate physician supervision and follow up was granted. The combination therapy significantly reduced coronary risk factors such as glucose intolerance and hyperlipidemia.”5
Is Testosterone replacement therapy right for you?
This is a question best answered after an office visit, some testing, and evaluation of you present health. Call our office 856-324-6033.
1. Lee WC, Kim MT, Ko KT, Lee WK, Kim SY, Kim HY, Yang DY. Relationship between Serum Testosterone and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Determined Using the Framingham Risk Score in Male Patients with Sexual Dysfunction. World J Mens Health. 2014 Dec;32(3):139-44. doi: 10.5534/wjmh.2014.32.3.139. Epub 2014 Dec 29.
5. Volterrani M, Rosano G, Iellamo F. Testosterone and heart failure.Endocrine. 2012 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]
5. Schwarz ER, Willix RD Jr. Impact of a physician-supervised exercise-nutrition program with testosterone substitution in partial androgen-deficient middle-aged obese men. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2011 Dec;8(4):201-6. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1263.2011.00201.