HealthDay News — Testosterone therapy is not linked with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke in older male patients, study findings suggest.

“Despite the widespread promotion and use of testosterone therapy in older men, its risks are not well understood,” wrote Jacques Baillargeon, PhD, of the University of Texas, and colleagues in a study published by the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

“Clinical trials examining testosterone therapy have been insufficiently powered to provide definitive evidence of adverse events, particularly cardiovascular outcomes.”

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Data on more than 25,000 male patients aged 65 years and older was collected. The patients, who were all Medicare beneficiaries, received testosterone therapy for up to eight years. The study also included a control group of similar men who were not treated with testosterone therapy.

Receipt of testosterone therapy was not associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% CI: 0.69-1.02), the investigators found.

For men in the highest quartile of the MI prognostic score, testosterone therapy was associated with a reduced risk of MI (HR, 0.69; 95% CI: 0.53-0.92), whereas there was no difference in risk for the first (HR, 1.20; 95% CI= 0.88-1.67), second (HR, 0.94; 95% CI: 0.69-1.30), and third quartiles (HR, 0.78; 95% CI: 0.59-1.01).

“Older men who were treated with intramuscular testosterone did not appear to have an increased risk of MI. For men with high MI risk, testosterone use was modestly protective against MI,” the researchers concluded.


  1. Baillargeon J et a. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2014; doi: 10.1177/1060028014539918