Testosterone Wards Off Heart Problems

Increased testosterone levels may reduce strokes and heart attacks

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Testosterone does more than just protect muscle strength and sexual health. In fact, naturally high levels of testosterone may be beneficial to the heart in older men.

Researchers have found high levels of the male hormone may protect them from suffering a heart attack or stroke. During a recent study it was discovered that a quarter of a group of men in their 70s and 80s who had the highest levels of testosterone were 30 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke over the next several years, UK's Daily Mail reported.

"Ask your doctor about taking hormones."

Ana Tivesten, a study leader from the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, found that meant that naturally lower testosterone could be a marker for an increased heart risk.

Researchers studied 2,400 Swedish men, accounting for factors known to lower testosterone such as obesity and heart disease. It is suspected that naturally higher testosterone might be heart healthy because those with higher testosterone usually have less body fat and more lean muscle.

However the results do not conclusively determine that the hormone alone was responsible for the decreased risk. Investigators also are not yet advocating taking hormones to lower the risk of cardiovascular events.

But the study appeared to support the link. Out of 604 men in the bottom 25 percent for low levels of testosterone at the beginning of the study, 21 percent had a heart attack, stroke or severe chest pains during a five-year period.

About 16 percent of the 606 men who had the highest levels of the male hormone experienced a cardiac event during the same time frame.

The clinical study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Review Date: 
October 6, 2011
Last Updated:
December 12, 2011