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The Risks of Testosterone – Can it Cause Heart Disease?

Testosterone therapy has been widely touted as a way to help aging men boost diminished energy. FDA to Review Testosterone Therapy Safety. The appeal of the hormone indisputable – it can build muscle, increase bone density, improve libido and influence emotional and physical well being. What are benefits of increasing testosterone?

As men age, their production of testosterone naturally diminishes — so millions of U.S. males use it to reverse this natural decline. Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk of Heart Attack

Typically, doctors recommend testosterone therapy to treat hypogonadism, which causes abnormally low levels of the hormone. Testosterone Therapy May Raise Heart Attack Risk

Yet an uptick in prescriptions in recent years suggests that doctors may be overprescribing the hormone – with some alarming consequences. NY Times Report on Overselling Testosterone

According to a study last year in JAMA Internal Medicine, between 2001 and 2011, use of testosterone by men 40 and over nearly quadrupled. Sales of gels, patches, injections and tablets associated with the hormone reached $2 billion in the US alone for 2012, compared with $324 million 10 years earlier. Label Changes Prompted by Testosterone Gel Safety

There is a serious downside to the increasing use of testosterone, with new data demonstrating that the hormone may significantly increase the risk of heart disease. Testosterone Linked to Heart Risks

A new study — conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles; the National Institutes of Health; and Consolidated Research —found that testosterone almost tripled the risk of heart attacks in one group of more than 48,000 middle-age men with previous histories of heart disease.

The study, published recently in the online journal PLOS One, offers fresh and compelling evidence that testosterone may be dangerously over prescribed.

Officials at the Food and Drug Administration said last Friday that they will reexamine the safety of testosterone products FDA Report and investigate rates of stroke, heart attack and death in men using the drugs.

In the meantime, before embarking on testosterone therapy, men should discuss the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases with their physician.

The attorneys at CaseyGerry are currently evaluating testosterone related cases. Please contact us for more information.