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The Testosterone Gel: Safe for Men with Heart Disease, But Not a Youth Serum

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that testosterone replacement therapy is safe for men with “low T” who have cardiovascular disease or are at high risk for it. The study found that heart attacks, strokes, and other major cardiac issues were no more common among those using testosterone gel than those using a placebo. However, doctors warn that the popular treatment is no “anti-aging tonic.”

Image credits: The Associated Press

The research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, which was funded by a consortium of drug companies, involved over 5,000 men between the ages of 45 and 80 at 316 trial sites throughout the United States. The participants were randomly assigned to get the testosterone gel or the placebo, which they rubbed on their skin daily for an average of about 22 months. The study found that “major cardiac events” occurred in 182 patients in the testosterone group and 190 patients in the placebo group.

Image credits: NBC News

Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study, said that the research showed that for a very specific group of men, testosterone can be given safely. However, it should not be given as an anti-aging tonic for widespread use in men who are aging. Dr. Nissen added that the treatment should not be used by bodybuilders or athletes, as the concerns about the misuse of testosterone are quite high.

Image credits: NPR

Treating low T has been a big business for many years, largely driven by advertisements for pills, patches, gels, and injections. Online sites and clinics across the nation offer the treatment, and many tie low T to common issues such as fatigue and weight gain. However, the new study shows that testosterone replacement therapy is safe only for a specific group of men and should not be viewed as an “anti-aging tonic.”

While the study helps address “a gap of understanding” about how testosterone treatment affects cardiovascular outcomes for men with true low T, more research is needed to determine whether testosterone therapy can actually reduce cardiovascular risk factors in men with low T. Men with low T are more likely to have conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Image credits: Seattle Times

In conclusion, the study provides valuable information about the safety of testosterone replacement therapy for men with heart disease or at high risk for it. However, it is important to note that the treatment is not a youth serum and should not be used as such. Men should consult with their doctors to determine if testosterone replacement therapy is right for them.

Image credits: Washington Post


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