Is Testosterone Protective Against Heart Attack in Older Men?

Jacques Baillargeon, PhD Director, Epidemiology Division Associate Professor Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health University of Texas Medical Branch MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jacques Baillargeon, PhD
Director, Epidemiology Division
Associate Professor
Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health
University of Texas Medical Branch

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Baillargeon: The main findings of the study were that older men who were treated with testosterone did not appear to have an increased risk of Myocardial Infarction.  For men with high MI risk, testosterone use appeared to be modestly protective against MI.


MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Baillargeon: The study was motivated by the growing concern, based on recent studies, that testosterone therapy may increase men’s risk for cardiovascular disease, specifically heart attack.   We were interested in examining this research question in a large representative sample of older adult Medicare beneficiaries.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Baillargeon: This was a methodologically rigorous study of a large nationally representative cohort of “real-world” older males.  We believe it should thoughtfully weighed and considered in the debate on the issue of testosterone and cardiovascular risks.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Baillargeon: It will be important for researchers to continue to conduct large-scale clinical trials with sufficient statistical power and follow-up time to examine adverse events in men receiving testosterone.   Given the increased number of middle aged men receiving testosterone prescriptions (ref: Baillargeon et al, JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013), it will also be important to examine risks and benefits in these younger age groups.

Citation:

Jacques Baillargeon et al. Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Older Men Receiving Testosterone Therapy. Annals of Pharmacotherapy., July 2014 DOI: 10.1177/1060028014539918

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