Exogenous Testosterone, Cardiovascular Events, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Elderly Men: A Review of Trial Data
ABSTRACT Increasing interest in the use of supplemental testosterone has led to a heightened focus on the safety of testosterone in elderly males, with a particular emphasis on cardiovascular risk.
To evaluate, based on available clinical trial data, whether exogenous testosterone administration in middle-aged to elderly men increases cardiovascular risk, and to assess whether these effects differ in hypogonadal vs. eugonadal subjects.
MEDLINE search from 2004 to present of all meta-analyses and randomized, controlled clinical trials of testosterone administration in male subjects ≥ 45 years old that included measurements of cardiovascular outcomes or known cardiovascular risk factors before and after treatment with testosterone.
The effects of testosterone treatment on cardiovascular events and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed.
In clinical trials where testosterone has been used in patients with preexisting cardiovascular conditions, the effect on disease symptoms has typically been either neutral or beneficial. Based on clinical trial data, testosterone treatment has minimal effect on cardiovascular risk factors with the exception of an increase in hematocrit, which is consistently seen with testosterone treatment, and a decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is an inconsistent response. Responses of hypogonadal and eugonadal men to testosterone treatment in terms of cardiovascular risk are generally similar. Testosterone treatment has not been reported to increase the incidence of cardiovascular events with the possible exception of one trial in frail elderly men.
Available clinical trial data indicate that the use of testosterone in middle-aged to elderly men does not increase cardiovascular risk nor does it unfavorably modify cardiovascular risk profile. Prospective data from large, well-designed, long-term trials of testosterone treatment are lacking and will be required to verify the cardiovascular efficacy/safety of chronic treatment.
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ABSTRACT: Testosterone therapy is recommended for men with symptomatic androgen deficiency and unequivocally low testosterone levels. Although the prevalence of hypogonadism seems relatively constant, studies of prescribing patterns in both the United States and the United Kingdom show a dramatic increase in testosterone prescription in recent years, possibly due to increased marketing and inappropriate therapy. Concurrent with this, there has been growing concern regarding the potential adverse effects of testosterone therapy, particularly its cardiovascular risks. In this review, we present our current understanding of the implications of testosterone deficiency, as well as the conflicting evidence surrounding the cardiovascular effects of testosterone replacement therapy. Although there is a lack of adequate data, based on the current evidence, we conclude that testosterone therapy can be safely considered in men with appropriately diagnosed clinical androgen deficiency and increased cardiovascular risk after a thorough discussion of potential risks and with guideline recommended safety monitoring.Current Atherosclerosis Reports 03/2015; 17(3):490. DOI:10.1007/s11883-015-0490-0 · 3.06 Impact Factor
Nature Reviews Urology 01/2015; DOI:10.1038/nrurol.2014.357 · 4.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: New concerns have been raised regarding cardiovascular (CV) risks with testosterone (T) therapy (TTh). These concerns are based primarily on two widely reported retrospective studies. However, methodological flaws and data errors invalidate both studies as credible evidence of risk. One showed reduced adverse events by half in T-treated men but reversed this result using an unproven statistical approach. The authors subsequently acknowledged serious data errors including nearly 10% contamination of the dataset by women. The second study mistakenly used the rate of T prescriptions written by healthcare providers to men with recent myocardial infarction (MI) as a proxy for the naturally occurring rate of MI. Numerous studies suggest T is beneficial, including decreased mortality in association with TTh, reduced MI rate with TTh in men with the greatest MI risk prognosis, and reduced CV and overall mortality with higher serum levels of endogenous T. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated benefits of TTh in men with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Improvement in CV risk factors such as fat mass and glycemic control have been repeatedly demonstrated in T-deficient men treated with T. The current evidence does not support the belief that TTh is associated with increased CV risk or CV mortality. On the contrary, a wealth of evidence accumulated over several decades suggests that low serum T levels are associated with increased risk and that higher endogenous T, as well as TTh itself, appear to be beneficial for CV mortality and risk.Asian Journal of Andrology 11/2014; DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.143248 · 2.53 Impact Factor