January 14, 2015 — A study published in Pharmacotherapy has found a 40% increased risk of heart attack for first-time users of testosterone replacement therapy compared to non-users.
The risk of heart attack was 78% higher for first-time testosterone users with a previous history of coronary artery disease, which is a major risk-factor for heart attacks.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia. Conclusions were based on data from nearly 1 million men aged 45-80 years old. Researchers did not find an increased risk of heart attack for current or former users of testosterone, and concluded:
“In this large observational study, an association between MI and past or current TRT use was not found. However, a statistically significant association was observed between first-time TRT exposure and MI, although the absolute risk was low.”
The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking testosterone with cardiovascular side effects, including myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and death.
Last year, the FDA issued a Safety Communication regarding two studies — one linking testosterone with a doubled risk of heart attacks in men over 65, and another linking testosterone with a 30% increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death among older men.
Nearly 300 lawsuits have already been filed, mostly involving gel products like AndroGel. Members of the litigation accuse AbbVie and other manufacturers of aggressively marketed testosterone to men with “Low T.”
Although Androgel is only FDA-approved to treat a rare medical condition known as hypogonadism, the “Low T” ads implied that Androgel might be an appropriate treatment for every man with fatigue, sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and several other common ailments.
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