Testosterone and Risk of Death, Heart Attack, and Stroke

Testosterone and Risk of Death, Heart Attack, and Stroke

An important study titled “Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men” was recently published in the European Heart Journal. The objective of the study was to examine the association between testosterone replacement therapy and all-cause death and adverse cardiovascuar events defined by heart attack and stroke.

A high level summary of the study and its results:

  1. It is the largest study of its kind (though retrospective), looking at 83,000 men with documented low total testosterone  with a follow up period of close to 5 years
  2. There was a major difference in risk of overall death, heart attack, or stroke in men who were treated with testosterone replacement therapy and attained normal levels and those whose low testosterone went untreated. The treated men were 56% less likely to die during the follow-up period, 24% less likely to have a heart attack, and 36% less likely to have a stroke.
  3. The difference between those who were treated and attained normal levels and those who were treated but did not attain normal levels was similar but less significant, those that normalized testosterone were 37% less likely to die, 18% less likely to suffer a heart attack, and 30% less likely to suffer a stroke than those that not achieve normal levels.
  4. There was no significant difference between the two groups (untreated and treated) whose testosterone did not reach normal levels, except that the treated men were 16% less likely to die than the untreated men.

Why do we care about this?

So this study tells us some very important things, relating to our own goal about naturally achieving optimal testosterone levels.

  1. Achieving normal testosterone levels is not only important to our day to day lives but also reduces our risk of dying or having a stroke or heart attack!
  2. About 1/3 of men that had low testosterone did not achieve normal testosterone levels despite receiving testosterone replacement therapy, it’s not a cure all!

Obviously, this study is about testosterone replacement therapy and this site is about naturally increasing your testosterone, so what gives?

These studies are useful because they show benefit to normalizing testosterone even if it was not done in the best way (naturally). This lends great support that if you naturally increase your testosterone levels to normal that there would be even greater reduction in risk of dying, heart attack, or stroke.

Why would there be even greater benefit if the normal testosterone level was achieved naturally?

I looked at the health characteristics of the men in the study, and found that these guys were not healthy at all and had many health issues that we know to lower testosterone as well as independently represent risk factors for death, heart attack, and stroke!

  • 65 percent of the men were obese
  • Over 30 percent were diabetic
  • 17 percent had hypertension

As a natural approach to optimizing your testosterone will involve weight (body fat) reduction, using diet and exercises to control blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, and diet and stress management approaches to reduce blood pressure this is why we can very likely achieve an even greater benefit than testosterone replacement therapy!

And while I clearly am an advocate of first trying to raise your testosterone naturally before exploring testosterone replacement therapy, if you have medically low testosterone, please work with your doctor to address the issue as soon as possible. This study establishes the importance of addressing low testosterone whether by natural means or replacement therapy or a combination, be smart and do what works for you.

References:

http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/07/27/eurheartj.ehv346

 

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