Testosterone Therapy and your Heart Testosterone plays a major role in characterizing a man. It is responsible for increased muscle mass, strong bones, the deep voice, and sexual drive and performance.
As a man ages, testosterone levels decline. Some men experience a drop in testosterone that is lower than it should be for their age. This can result in lower libido, depression, anxiety and decreased muscle mass. This can have a negative impact on a man’s self-esteem and relationships. As such, many men today begin T therapy in an attempt to raise their testosterone to a healthy level.
Does testosterone therapy increase heart risks?
Concerned about the negative impacts of testosterone therapy? A direct link has not been established, though doctors have wondered if a link between heart disease and testosterone therapy exists. Athletes who abuse testosterone with steroids are at a higher risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke. In extremely high doses, testosterone can have a negative effect on cholesterol levels. But just because large amounts of testosterone can harm the heart doesn’t mean that it is harmful.
Some earlier studies suggested that there was a link between testosterone therapy and the risk of heart disease. A 2014 study concluded that the risk of heart attack increases in men over 65, or in younger men with a history of heart disease.
More recent studies seem to be taking a different view. The latest research is showing that there is no increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Some research even suggests that the risk of death decreases in men receiving testosterone therapy compared to those who aren’t receiving therapy.
Cardiac Risk Factors
Having low testosterone levels has also been linked to cardiac risk factors. This doesn’t prove that low levels actually cause heart disease though. In the same way, we cannot conclude that testosterone therapy can cause heart problems. There are so many cardiac risk factors such as age, gender, family history, cholesterol, obesity, smoking, exercise, blood sugar, exercise and more. This makes it extremely difficult to make a conclusion based on these studies.
Other various risks are associated with testosterone therapy such as sleep apnea, breast enlargement, limiting sperm production, and increased risk of prostate diseases and liver disease.
It could be that the gains of testosterone therapy outweigh the risks – but there is no conclusive study. What’s important is to take each case on an individual basis. It’s extremely important you discuss your concerns and symptoms with a health practitioner who will look at your medical history and risk factors. Always talk to a doctor before beginning any hormonal treatment.
The fact is, at this time, there is no substantial evidence showing that testosterone replacement therapy increases cardiovascular risk. There is substantial evidence that it does not. Additionally, many studies show that low T is associated with cardiovascular risk, meaning that T therapy could have relevant benefits for the heart.
So, what do you think? How does your Doctor feel about this?
Let us know in the comments below!