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Testosterone Therapy Increases Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke and Death

Sarah N. Emery
Associate Attorney at Schachter Hendy & Johnson PSC
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Testosterone therapy is not as benign as it was  thought to be. A recent study found  testosterone therapy causes a 30% increase in the risk of death, stroke, and heart attack among men being treated for low testosterone. Of the men in the study, 1,223 had testosterone therapy—and nearly 26% of them suffered a heart attack, stroke or died for any reason within the next three years. That compared with 20% of those not taking testosterone. Those taking testosterone were slightly younger and had lower rates of other illnesses.

Doctors are admitting that prior to this study the risks were not understood: "Prior to this study, we didn't know much about the cardiovascular risk," said Michael Ho, a cardiologist at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, senior author of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Men taking testosterone have to ask themselves whether the risks are worth the benefits they may be receiving," he said. Other doctors are calling for additional safety testing to ensure that patients are aware of the risks that they are taking: Cardiologist Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic said he and other experts "saw trouble on the horizon" with the rising use of testosterone. "I get it—men want to feel stronger. But we should insist on long-term well-designed safety trials," he said.

Testosterone therapy has become a go to solution for men with low testosterone, in large part because of the use of direct to consumer advertisting by the manufacturers of testosterone supplements and drugs. U.S. testosterone prescriptions, including refills, more than doubled to 432 million last year from 208 million in 2008, according to IMS Health, a health-care information company. However, in light of the sharp increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke and death, physicians and patients need to ask themselves if testosterone therapy is worth the risk.

The attorneys at Schachter, Hendy & Johnson have experience handling testosterone lawsuits. Our attorneys are well versed in the scientific studies indicating that the use of testosterone therapy can cause heart attacks, strokes and death. If a loved one died or if you or a loved one suffered a heart attack or stroke after undering testosterone therapy to treat low testosterone, please call our office for a free consultation.

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