Is Testosterone Replacement Safe in Men with Cardiovascular Disease?

Cureus. 2020 Mar 19;12(3):e7324. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7324.


Testosterone is an anabolic hormone that is responsible for the development of male sex organs. It also increases muscle mass and fortifies bone density. In addition to being responsible for primary sexual characteristics at birth and puberty (development and changes of sexual organs such as uterus, vagina, penis, and testes), testosterone is also involved in maintaining secondary sexual characteristics. Patients with low testosterone who are symptomatic should be treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) once the diagnosis has been confirmed. The goal of treatment is to improve the symptoms including the physical, sexual, and cognitive health with the aim being to keep the testosterone in the mid-normal limit of the reference range. Male hypogonadism has been increasingly diagnosed and treated in elderly males since the last decade. A proportionate increase in the prescription of testosterone has been seen as well. The relationship of testosterone levels with cardiovascular (CV) outcomes is challenging and has shown conflicting results. Moreover, in patients with established CV disease, those with high CV risk factors including diabetes, or those with significant risk factors for atherosclerotic CV disease (ASCVD), the benefits of TRT should be weighed against the risks of replacement. Risks and benefits of TRT should be discussed with every patient prior to starting or restarting the procedure.

Keywords: cardiovascular; cardiovascular outcomes; current guidelines; hypogonadism; testosterone hormone; testosterone replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Review