Large study links testosterone supplements with heart attacks.
UCLA researchers found that testosterone-enhancing supplements doubled the risk of heart attacks in men less than 65 years of age with a history of heart disease, and in men over 65 — with or without heart disease. Researchers came to this conclusion after they examined the health care records of over 55,000 men in the retrospective study. It’s the largest study to date examining the relationship between heart disease in men and testosterone supplements, which are approved by the FDA to boost testosterone levels in men who have documented “low T.” However, some older men seek the supplements for off-label use. They use it to battle fatigue and improve their sex drive.
According to Drugs.com, the sales of AndroGel, a testosterone supplement, exceeded Viagra sales in 2013. Axiron is another popular testosterone supplement. Although researchers found an association between the supplements and heart attacks in men, they did not establish a direct cause-and-effect. The study was a joint effort that included UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research Inc., which supplied the health care data.
There is now a push to re-label testosterone supplements to include a warning about its potential for cardiovascular events. The study was published online in the Public Library of Science journal, PLOS ONE.