Testosterone therapy linked to risk of heart attack

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The use of testosterone therapy has been linked to a twofold increase in the likelihood of heart attack in men under the age of 65 who have a history of heart disease, according to a new study from UCLA and the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers examined data from Truven Health Analytics, which aggregated health data on 55,593 men who had been prescribed testosterone therapy. Testosterone therapies, often marketed as a treatment for “low T,” outsold Viagra last year, according to the independent website Drugs.com. Researchers found men under the age of 65 with a history of heart disease had a twofold increase in heart attacks when on testosterone therapy, and all men over the age of 65 using the therapy had double the risk of heart attack.

"The extensive and rapidly increasing use of testosterone treatment and the evidence of risk of heart attack underscore the urgency of further large studies of the risks and the benefits of this treatment," senior author Sander Greenland was quoted as saying. "Patients and their physicians should discuss the risk of heart attacks when considering testosterone therapy."

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