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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The risks of added testosterone

For years men of a certain age have turned to testosterone to boost energy and revive flagging libido. A new study, however, reveals the risks of this hormone replacement therapy may outweigh its benefits. In trials involving 788 men 65 or older with low testosterone levels, University of Pennsylvania researchers randomly assigned half the participants to apply daily testosterone gel; the rest received a placebo. After one year, testosterone users saw increased bone density and lower risk for anemia. But the hormone had no discernible effect on energy level, memory, or cognitive abilities; worse, men on testosterone had more plaque buildup in their coronary arteries a risk factor for heart disease, reports. The authors say larger long-term studies are needed, and treatment decisions should be made on an individual basis. “The message here is to select the correct patients who will benefit from testosterone therapy,” says endocrinologist Channa Jayasena, “but not treat it as a wonder drug.”

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