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Testosterone Study: Therapy May Increase Heart Risks

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A report released just moments ago has a warning for those on testosterone therapy.

Medical reporter Liz Bonis has the latest from the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

If you do a search on testosterone therapy you'll find it promoted as a therapy that can improve muscle mass, lift your libido, and boost your bones.

But this new report found it may also increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular events.  Researchers in this study published in Jama reviewed data from just over 8700 veterans who all had low testosterone levels and had heart tests to detect blocked blood vessels in the heart.  About 80 percent had heart disease.  Of those, about 14 percent were put on testosterone delivered through an injection or a patch. 

When they compared those put on testosterone after the heart tests to those who were not they found the men started on this therapy had a higher risk of death, heart attack, and stroke compared to men who were not started on testosterone therapy after the heart tests.

Now experts say as more men take people take this therapy more studies need to be done to understand potential risks with testosterone.  Since every medical treatment is always about benefit versus risk it's important to discuss your heart disease risk with your health care provider if you are considering testosterone therapy.

Keep in mind testosterone naturally drops in some people with age and when you replace something that naturally declines it's important to know what other impact it might have in the body.

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