Risk Factors Associated With Cardiovascular Events During Testosterone Administration in Older Men With Mobility Limitation

Department of Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 670 Albany Street, Suite 205, Boston, MA 02118. .
The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Impact Factor: 5.42). 05/2012; 68(2). DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gls138
Source: PubMed


BACKGROUND: Testosterone in Older Men with Mobility Limitations Trial found an increased incidence of cardiovascular events in men randomized to testosterone, resulting in enrollment cessation by trial's Data and Safety Monitoring Board. We evaluated changes in gonadal hormones and markers of inflammation and coagulation to elucidate risk factors associated with cardiovascular events. METHODS: Men aged 65 years or more, with mobility limitation, total testosterone 100-350 ng/dL, or free testosterone less than 50 pg/mL, were randomized to placebo or 10 g testosterone gel daily for 6 months. Changes in total and free testosterone, estradiol and estrone, C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and pro-brain naturetic peptide were compared between groups and within the testosterone group between subjects who experienced cardiovascular events and those who did not. RESULTS: Of 209 men randomized (mean age 74 years), gonadal hormones and biomarkers were available in 179 men. Baseline body mass index, gonadal hormones, lipids, Framingham risk scores, and other biomarkers were similar in the two treatment groups. Within the testosterone group, the 6-month increase in free testosterone was significantly greater in men who experienced cardiovascular events than in those who did not [mean (95% confidence interval), 10.6 (4.6-16.7) vs 5.2 (3.0-7.5) ng/dL, p = .05]. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, the change in the serum levels of free testosterone was associated with cardiovascular events. CONCLUSION: Mobility-limited older men who experienced cardiovascular events had greater increases in serum free testosterone levels than those who did not.

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    • "In contrast to these findings, the TOM trial of T therapy in men with limited mobility was discontinued following an imbalance in cardiovascular events in T treated men compared to placebo.127 This discrepancy may be explained by the relatively high dose used in a comparatively high risk population: the strongest risk factor for cardiovascular events in this trial was the increase in free T.144 This is consistent with previous findings of greater frequencies of adverse events associated with higher T doses in healthy older men.8 Men included in the trial had a high mean BMI, as well as a very high frequency of hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.127 This experience sounds a salutary note of caution regarding the safety of treating frail elderly men with relatively high doses of T, highlighting the importance of careful patient or trial subject selection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Androgens have potent anabolic effects on skeletal muscle and decline with age in parallel to losses in muscle mass and strength. This loss of muscle mass and function, known as sarcopenia, is the central event in development of frailty, the vulnerable health status that presages adverse outcomes and rapid functional decline in older adults. The potential role of falling androgen levels in the development of frailty and their utility as function promoting therapies in older men has therefore attracted considerable attention. This review summarizes current concepts and definitions in muscle ageing, sarcopenia and frailty, and evaluates recent developments in the study of androgens and frailty. Current evidence from observational and interventional studies strongly supports an effect of androgens on muscle mass in ageing men, but effects on muscle strength and particularly physical function have been less clear. Androgen treatment has been generally well-tolerated in studies of older men, but concerns remain over higher dose treatments and use in populations with high cardiovascular risk. The first trials of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) suggest similar effects on muscle mass and function to traditional androgen therapies in older adults. Important future directions include the use of these agents in combination with exercise training to promote functional ability across different populations of older adults, as well as more focus on the relationships between concurrent changes in hormone levels, body composition and physical function in observational studies.
    Asian Journal of Andrology 01/2014; 16(2). DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122581 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    • "Thus, it is conceivable that in the TOM trial T-treated men might have engaged in more strenuous activities and thereby unmasked preexisting CVD by provoking exertional symptoms. A prudent approach to T therapy in older men would be to carefully consider the benefits and risks, address risk factors, and prevalent CVD; and if therapy is indicated to employ conservative doses avoiding marked fluctuations in T levels.105 "
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    ABSTRACT: As men grow older, testosterone (T) levels decline and the significance of this change is debated. The evidence supporting a causal role for lower circulating T, or its metabolites dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol, in the genesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men is limited. Observational studies associate low baseline T levels with carotid atherosclerosis, aortic and peripheral vascular disease, and with the incidence of cardiovascular events and mortality. Studies using mass spectrometry suggest that when total T is assayed optimally, calculation of free T might not necessarily improve risk stratification. There is limited evidence to support an association of estradiol with CVD. Interventional studies of T therapy in men with coronary artery disease have shown beneficial effects on exercise-induced myocardial ischemia. However, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of T therapy in men with the prespecified outcomes of cardiovascular events or deaths are lacking. Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of T published up to 2010 found no increase in cardiovascular events, mortality, or prostate cancer with therapy. Recently, in a trial of older men with mobility limitations, men randomized to receive a substantial dose of T reported cardiovascular adverse effects. This phenomenon was not reported from a comparable trial where men received a more conservative dose of T, suggesting a prudent approach should be adopted when considering therapy in frail older men with existing CVD. Adequately powered RCTs of T in middle-aged and older men are needed to clarify whether or not hormonal intervention would reduce the incidence of CVD.
    Asian Journal of Andrology 12/2013; 16(2). DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.122357 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Testosterone therapy is increasingly promoted. No randomized placebo-controlled trial has been implemented to assess the effect of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular events, although very high levels of androgens are thought to promote cardiovascular disease. Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted of placebo-controlled randomized trials of testosterone therapy among men lasting 12+ weeks reporting cardiovascular-related events. We searched PubMed through the end of 2012 using “(“testosterone” or “androgen”) and trial and (“random*”)” with the selection limited to studies of men in English, supplemented by a bibliographic search of the World Health Organization trial registry. Two reviewers independently searched, selected and assessed study quality with differences resolved by consensus. Two statisticians independently abstracted and analyzed data, using random or fixed effects models, as appropriate, with inverse variance weighting. Results Of 1,882 studies identified 27 trials were eligible including 2,994, mainly older, men who experienced 180 cardiovascular-related events. Testosterone therapy increased the risk of a cardiovascular-related event (odds ratio (OR) 1.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 2.18). The effect of testosterone therapy varied with source of funding (P-value for interaction 0.03), but not with baseline testosterone level (P-value for interaction 0.70). In trials not funded by the pharmaceutical industry the risk of a cardiovascular-related event on testosterone therapy was greater (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.34 to 3.17) than in pharmaceutical industry funded trials (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.60). Conclusions The effects of testosterone on cardiovascular-related events varied with source of funding. Nevertheless, overall and particularly in trials not funded by the pharmaceutical industry, exogenous testosterone increased the risk of cardiovascular-related events, with corresponding implications for the use of testosterone therapy.
    BMC Medicine 04/2013; 11(1):108. DOI:10.1186/1741-7015-11-108 · 7.25 Impact Factor
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