Older Men on Testosterone Should be Warned of
Cardiovascular Risks, Says Endocrine Society
Therapy not approved
for age-related symptoms, age-related decline of testosterone; studies
find dangers for senior men with heart conditions
Feb. 7, 2014 - Alarmed by recent studies that have
raised concerns about the safety of testosterone therapy in older men
with a history of heart disease, the Endocrine Society today called for
a full evaluation. According to a statement, the risks and benefits of
testosterone therapy for older men with declining levels of the hormone
need to be fully evaluated.
Two retrospective analyses and one randomized trial
supported by the Veterans Health Care System, and the National
Institutes of Health found a higher rate of cardiovascular events in men
who received testosterone and had preexisting heart problems. The U.S.
Food and Drug Administration has announced it plans to evaluate the
safety of testosterone therapy.
Testosterone is approved for the treatment of
hypogonadism due to known diseases of the testes, pituitary and
hypothalamus. Although the use of testosterone therapy is increasing,
the treatment has not been approved for the treatment of age-related
symptoms or the age-related decline of testosterone levels.
Important safety data are expected from the NIA's
ongoing randomized trial examining testosterone in about 800 older men
with unequivocally low testosterone levels and accompanying symptoms,
including sexual and physical dysfunction. The trial's structure and
careful monitoring of cardiovascular events will help provide important
The Society calls for the development of more
large-scale randomized controlled trials to determine the true risks and
benefits of testosterone therapy in older men.
In the statement, the Society recommends that
middle-aged and older men who are considering testosterone
supplementation for age-related declines should be informed of the
potential cardiovascular risks.
he Society also believes that it may be prudent not
to administer testosterone therapy to men who have had a cardiovascular
event (such as myocardial infarction, stroke or acute coronary syndrome)
in the preceding six months.
Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society reports to
be the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to
research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today,
the Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 17,000 scientists,
physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries.
Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in
endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
To learn more visit
http://www.endocrine.org. On Twitter at
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