A study conducted by the Veterans Administration whose low testosterone levels were returned to normal through hormone therapy had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from any other cause compared to men who received no treatment.
The study, which looked at results taken from more than 83,000 participants, also found that men who were received hormone treatments but did not attain normal testosterone levels did not see the same benefits as those whose testosterone did reach normal levels.
A Turning Point?
The study, which was published in the August 2015 edition of European Heart Journal, may be the definitive proof the medical community has been seeking about the benefits of testosterone therapy.
Yet some are still not convinced. That’s because the study did not include men who already had a history of heart attacks or strokes, although it did include men with existing heart disease, although a previous study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association did look specifically t men with coronary artery disease.
Dr. Rajat Barua, the leading author of the study, emphasized that administering the proper dosage of testosterone was critical to obtaining optimal benefits.
For example, treating low testosterone but not restoring the hormone to normal levels in the body doesn’t appear to achieve the most benefits to cardiovascular risk.
Patients who did not receive the therapeutic range of testosterone replacement therapy also didn’t see a reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and other deadly conditions, Dr. Barua said.
Why It Works
Researchers are still studying why testosterone appears to have such a profound positive impact on heart health, but it could be related to body fat, insulin sensitivity, lipids, blood platelets, inflammation, or other biological pathways.
More research is needed to clarify exactly how testosterone positively affects the cardiovascular system, but at least there is now a clear link between hormone therapy and heart health.