Testosterone and Your Risk of Heart Attack

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Story Updated: Nov 7, 2013

The commercials are all over...advertising treatment for men with "Low T"...the "t" standing for testosterone. More than 5 million prescriptions for the hormone were written in 2011 alone.

The objective of this study was to look at the association between testosterone use and adverse cardiovascular outcomes including myocardial infarction, stroke and mortality.

Researchers tracked more than 87-hundred male veterans who underwent coronary angiography a special test to check for blocked arteries.

1-thousand-223 of the men started testosterone therapy after the procedure. On follow-up, more than 25 percent of the group had passed away, had a heart attack or suffered a stroke that's compared to less than 20 percent of the men who did not take testosterone. Even accounting for other factors, the use of testosterone therapy was a consistent factor in negative outcomes

This should enter into the discussion between physicians and patients about whether patients should go on testosterone replacement therapy and will hopefully help that discussion in terms of what the benefits are and what the potential risks are.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with health information for healthier living.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com