Men taking testosterone may increase their risk of cardiovascular complications. That appears to be the conclusion of a retrospective study published in JAMA involving around 8,000 men in the VA health system. These older male patients were at high risk of heart problems because of hypertension, diabetes or evidence of heart disease. They all had low testosterone levels (below 300 ng/dl), but only about 1200 subsequently started taking testosterone.
The follow-up period went from 2005 to 2011, during which almost 750 men died, while others had heart attacks or strokes. Twenty percent of the group not taking testosterone experienced one of these events, compared to just over 25 percent of the testosterone-taking men. Although scientists have worried that testosterone might increase cardiovascular risk, this research demonstrates that the risk is real and should be considered by men looking to treat symptoms of “low T.”