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Study Raises Questions About Testosterone Rx for 'Low T'
Increased risk of death, MI, stroke in men with low levels who undergo coronary angiography

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For men with low testosterone levels who undergo coronary angiography, testosterone therapy is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Rebecca Vigen, M.D., from the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues examined the correlation between testosterone therapy and all-cause mortality, MI, and stroke in a retrospective cohort study involving 8,709 men with low testosterone levels (<300 ng/dL) who underwent coronary angiography.

The researchers found that, overall, there were 1,710 outcome events, including 748 deaths, 443 MIs, and 519 strokes. There were 681 deaths, 420 MIs, and 486 strokes among the 7,486 patients not receiving testosterone therapy, compared with 67, 23, and 33, respectively, among the 1,223 patients receiving testosterone therapy. At three years after coronary angiography, the absolute rate of events was 19.9 percent in the no testosterone therapy group, compared with 25.7 percent in the testosterone therapy group. Testosterone therapy use was associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes (hazard ratio, 1.29), after adjustment for the presence of coronary artery disease.

"Use of testosterone therapy in this cohort of veterans with significant medical comorbidities was associated with increased risk of mortality, MI, or ischemic stroke," the authors write.

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