Testosterone deficiency and cardiovascular mortality

Asian J Androl. Jan-Feb 2015;17(1):26-31. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.143248.

Abstract

New concerns have been raised regarding cardiovascular (CV) risks with testosterone (T) therapy (TTh). These concerns are based primarily on two widely reported retrospective studies. However, methodological flaws and data errors invalidate both studies as credible evidence of risk. One showed reduced adverse events by half in T-treated men but reversed this result using an unproven statistical approach. The authors subsequently acknowledged serious data errors including nearly 10% contamination of the dataset by women. The second study mistakenly used the rate of T prescriptions written by healthcare providers to men with recent myocardial infarction (MI) as a proxy for the naturally occurring rate of MI. Numerous studies suggest T is beneficial, including decreased mortality in association with TTh, reduced MI rate with TTh in men with the greatest MI risk prognosis, and reduced CV and overall mortality with higher serum levels of endogenous T. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated benefits of TTh in men with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Improvement in CV risk factors such as fat mass and glycemic control have been repeatedly demonstrated in T-deficient men treated with T. The current evidence does not support the belief that TTh is associated with increased CV risk or CV mortality. On the contrary, a wealth of evidence accumulated over several decades suggests that low serum T levels are associated with increased risk and that higher endogenous T, as well as TTh itself, appear to be beneficial for CV mortality and risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / deficiency*
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use

Substances

  • Testosterone