Low-T Heart Attack Study
Written by Faith Anderson on April 27, 2016
New Research Explains Link Between Testosterone Drugs and Heart Attack Risk
Amid increasing concerns about the potential health risks associated with “low-T” products like Testim and AndroGel, a new study conducted by researchers from the U.K. examines the reasons why side effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may put men at a greater risk for heart attacks. If you used a testosterone patch, gel or injection in the past, and you have since suffered a heart attack, stroke, or another adverse medical event, consult an experienced testosterone therapy lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a testosterone replacement therapy lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and medical expenses.
Potential Health Risks of Testosterone Therapy
Over the past several years, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of testosterone therapy medications like AndroGel, Testim, Axiron and Fortesta, particularly their alleged link to cardiovascular problems in men. In November 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that certain men who began using testosterone replacement drugs following coronary angiography were more likely to experience a sudden heart attack, stroke or death. This study was followed by research published in the journal PLoSOne in January 2014, which found that side effects of low-T drugs may result in double the risk of heart attacks for younger men with a history of heart disease, and for men over 65, regardless of any pre-existing heart conditions.
Effect of High Testosterone Levels on Blood Vessels
In this latest study, published this week in the medical journal Scientific Reports, researchers analyzed the effects of testosterone on blood vessel tissue in mice, reporting that higher testosterone levels may cause calcium to build up in the blood, which could potentially increase the risk of blocked arteries and heart attacks. According to the researchers, “vascular calcification” caused by high testosterone levels can cause blood cells to harden and thicken, forcing the heart to work harder to pump those blood cells through the vascular system. In addition to increasing the risk of heart attack, this calcification can also prevent the heart valves from opening and closing properly, which can lead to other serious heart problems.
The researchers noted in their report that their findings could explain why men face a higher risk of heart attack than women, and some say the study further supports the theory that men using low-T products to increase their testosterone levels may be at an even greater risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. “This study reveals AR [androgen receptors] expression in diseased vascular tissue and highlights a potential link between pharmacological androgen use and vascular calcification,” the researchers wrote. “We note that this is achieved in a small sample, and these data need to be extended with further samples in future investigations.”
FDA Warnings for Men Undergoing Low-T Therapy
A growing body of research has indicated that men undergoing TRT may face a greater risk of adverse medical events, and just last year, a study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy found that first-time users of testosterone replacement drugs may be 40% more likely to suffer a heart attack compared to men who didn’t use the medications. After this research was published, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation into testosterone replacement therapy and what the agency believes is the widespread overuse of the drugs for “lifestyle reasons,” i.e. older men using TRT to combat the natural signs of aging, such as decreased sex drive and lower energy levels.
Concerns about testosterone therapy side effects in men led the FDA to require new warnings on the labels of TRT drugs, highlighting the possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke associated with the products. In a drug safety communication issued in March 2015, the FDA indicated that “prescription testosterone products are approved only for men who have low testosterone levels caused by certain medical conditions.” The agency also warned that “The benefit and safety of these medications have not been established for the treatment of low testosterone levels due to aging, even if a man’s symptoms seem related to low testosterone.”
Contact an Experienced TRT Attorney Today
The issue at hand is the fact that potentially dangerous low-T products are being prescribed to men with no medical need for the drugs, and in some cases, men have begun testosterone replacement therapy without ever even having their testosterone levels tested. Thanks to this new Scientific Reports study, we now have a little more insight into the potential for testosterone replacement therapy to cause an increased risk of heart attacks and other serious heart problems in otherwise healthy men, and the reasons behind this risk.
If you believe you have been adversely affected by alleged side effects of low-T, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today to discuss your legal options. There are already close to 5,300 testosterone therapy lawsuits pending in the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that the makers of testosterone drugs like AndroGel and Testim failed to provide adequate warnings to men about the potential for the medications to increase their risk of heart attack and other health problems, and many of these testosterone therapy lawsuits have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois, for coordinated pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).