The People's Perspective on Medicine

Is the FDA Wrong About Testosterone Heart Risk?

A new meta-analysis of 30 placebo-controlled studies did not find evidence of a significant testosterone heart risk, despite the FDA's warning.

Does testosterone treatment increase a man’s risk of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular calamity? Researchers have recently evaluated the testosterone heart risk.

Testosterone Treatment for Low T:

Television advertisements have promoted this male hormone heavily as a way to counteract loss of libido and muscle strength. The marketers have dubbed such symptoms coupled with low testosterone “low T.” But some experts have raised safety questions, and the FDA has put a warning on this drug.

What Is the Testosterone Heart Risk?

Several studies have given conflicting answers to the safety question. That may not be too surprising, given that an epidemiological analysis determined that a placebo-controlled trial of the testosterone heart risk would need to recruit at least 17,664 men to each arm of the study (Onasanya et al, The Lancet. Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nov. 2016).

Now a meta-analysis has been conducted on 30 randomized controlled trials to determine the testosterone heart risk. All together, the studies included 5,451 men. In addition to heart attack, stroke and death, the investigators analyzed the data to see if there were links to heart failure, arrhythmia or hospitalization for cardiac procedures. They bemoaned the poor quality of the data, but concluded,

“We did not find any significant association between exogenous testosterone treatment and myocardial infarction, stroke, or mortality in randomized controlled trials.”

Alexander et al, American Journal of Medicine, March 2017

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I tried testosterone treatment for low T, and after 8 months my blood sugar had spiked very high. Hadn’t changed anything else. Stopped the cream after that discovery.

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