Per the Cleveland Clinic—Another TRT Study Fails to Show an Increase in Cardiac Arrests

Two things that are hard to kill—popular action heroes and medical advice based on poor research. 

Another major medical study has been published, debunking the persistent tale that says taking supplemental testosterone (TRT or Testosterone Replacement Therapy), even as prescribed for the treatment of clinically diagnosed low testosterone, causes an increase in heart attacks and strokes.

A group of medical researches look confident about their research that showed TRT does not increase cardiac arrest likelihood.
A group of healthcare workers standing and smiling at the camera.

A recent, extensive clinical trial performed by the highly reputable Cleveland Clinic dubbed Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Assessment of Long-term Vascular Events and Efficacy Response in Hypogonadal Men (TRAVERSE) saw either supplemental testosterone or a placebo administered to 5,246 middle-aged and older men suffering from clinically diagnosed Low T and a pre-existing propensity for cardiac arrest. 

The results demonstrated that, among 5,198 patients who received testosterone or a placebo, TRT did not result in more major cardiac events. In fact, a major cardiac event occurred in 182 patients (7.0%) in the testosterone group while the placebo group contained 190 patients (7.3%) who suffered a cardiac arrest.

You read that correctly—the group receiving TRT was less likely to experience a cardiac arrest than the control group!

How much more evidence could one need?

(Read the full research article here.)

It’s important to note, however, that those receiving testosterone in this trial did show a higher rate of atrial fibrillation, kidney issues, and issues arising from blood clots in the veins, but it’s difficult to determine the cause since these subjects had cardiovascular issues as a prerequisite for inclusion in the study.

There Are Side-effects With TRT?

Here’s the honest answer—just as with any other medical treatment, there are possible side effects associated with TRT.

According to the Mayo Clinic, those potential side effects can include:

  • Worsening sleep apnea
  • Acne or other skin reactions
  • Stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and growth of existing prostate cancer
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Limited sperm production or shrunken testicles
  • Stimulating too much red blood cell production, which could increase the risk of a blood clot
  • Some studies show that testosterone therapy can increase your risk of heart disease, but more research is needed

(Read the full article on benefits and risks by the Mayo Clinic here).

Strong emphasis needs to be placed on possible side effects, as they usually occur when TRT is administered irresponsibly or without knowledgeable, qualified, and consistent medical supervision. Whether TRT is beneficial or not is largely dependent upon how the medication is delivered and dosed.

If the TRT protocol is mismanaged or not carefully monitored, it’s probable that patients will experience a higher rate and increased severity of adverse reactions or possibly a complete lack of meaningful results.

Also, note that the Mayo Clinic says specifically that increased risk of heart problems, which would include cardiac arrest risk, requires more research to substantiate, and the Cleveland Clinic has now provided further data that strongly supports the opposite conclusion—TRT would seem to reduce the risk of cardiac arrest or stroke.

TRT and Managing Cardiac Arrest Risk and Other Related Issues

Detection of a potential problem before it becomes a health concern is the first step to preventing any negative side effects of TRT, including any possible cardiac arrest or stroke risks.

Careful and consistent monitoring of our patient’s hematocrit levels (the concentration of red blood cells, or hemoglobin, suspended in the blood plasma) through frequent blood testing allows us to take action before unnecessary strain on your circulatory system occurs. 

In case any patient’s lab report shows a significant increase in their hematocrit level, corrective measures are simple and effective. Excess red blood cells are removed in order to reduce viscosity and relieve potential exertion. The medical term for this is a phlebotomy, but it sounds much worse than it is—just donate some blood to the charity of your choice, and drink plenty of water after. 

Should the above measures be necessary, the next step is adjusting how much testosterone you receive so that the problem doesn’t reoccur. The reason is simple—if testosterone is stimulating your body to produce too many red blood cells, reducing the trigger to a level that better suits your body is all that’s required.

Illicit Use of Testosterone Increases Risks Including Cardiac Arrest

Here is the cold, hard fact about TRT side effects, including cardiac arrest risk. Those who experience significant and even life-threatening side effects are usually men who abuse testosterone and other androgens to improve their physical appearance.

Since the keys to preventing any potential health problems related to TRT, including cardiac arrest or stroke risk, are vigilance and systematic monitoring of your health situation, those receiving ethical and medically supervised TRT are in very safe territory.

On the other hand, people taking high levels of testosterone without proper supervision—those who are abusing steroids illegally—are the ones who should rightfully be concerned about severe and potentially fatal health complications.

TRT is not what those people are doing. TRT is not steroid abuse—learn the difference here.

Learn the Benefits of TRT

In this post, we’ve provided further supporting evidence that TRT and cardiac arrest or stroke risk, and most other side effects as well, are not related to the ethical, responsible, and informed administration of testosterone for the relief from the symptoms of clinically diagnosed Low T.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been feeling lousy, not much like yourself, for a good while, and we’d like to provide you with some good news.

There are many benefits to your health and lifestyle that come with restoring your testosterone levels to normal. In fact, as the Cleveland Clinic mentioned, a reduction in a variety of health risks like cardiac arrest is an important one.

Learn the Benefits of TRT


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(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

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