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TRT and Cardiovascular Disease: International Panel Finds Benefits Instead of Increased Risks
Poorly-researched claims of a dangerous increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) have been circulated by the popular health media over the years.
Reliable scientific studies reviewed by international experts fail to support the hysteria.
In fact, the most reliable research available leans toward Low Testosterone, not TRT, as a likely indicator of poor cardiovascular and general health.
Issues That Cloud the Truth
Linked by poor logic and a lack of scientific understanding, the following factors possibly contributed to the association of TRT with increased CVD occurrences:
- High rates of coronary artery disease (CAD) across the male population
- Protective effects of estrogen in premenopausal women
- Increased CVD deaths in men who abused anabolic steroids
- Methodologically flawed studies reporting increased CVD events (heart attacks, strokes, and premature deaths included) providing unreliable conclusions
In reaction to these factors, particularly the poorly-designed and later discredited research studies on the supposed connection between testosterone and CVD, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety warning in March 2015 regarding the use of supplementary testosterone products.
However, the old adage that correlation does not equal causation holds true; each of these factors has a connection to testosterone, but even when combined, they in no way demonstrate that testosterone is the cause of poor health.
In October 2015, an international panel concerned about the poor scientific basis for the FDA warning convened to clarify the available research on the possible cause-and-effect relationship between TRT and cardiovascular disease.
What the Research Reveals
Upon intensive review of the reliable scientific studies available, the panel reached a number of important conclusions:
- Testosterone deficiency (Low Testosterone) is an actual medical condition that is a global public health concern
- TRT for men with testosterone deficiency is effective, rational, and evidence-based
- Methodologically sound research fails to support an increased risk of CVD events in connection with TRT
- Evidence indicates that men with Low Testosterone levels are more likely to experience poor general health and cardiovascular health (though this is methodologically difficult to prove)
- Men receiving TRT (compared with a placebo group) are likely to experience benefits to their cardiovascular health due to reductions in:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Premature death
TRT More Likely to Protect
Simply put, the panel rejected both popular reasoning and the FDA’s warnings.
The panel spoke out in support of the safety of TRT for men with clinically diagnosed Low Testosterone, saying that healthy testosterone levels are far more likely to protect the male cardiovascular system than cause harm.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic who reviewed the panel’s findings agree:
The benefits of treatment of low testosterone levels with testosterone therapy in men and women substantially outweigh any risks, according to the current data.
Learn More About TRT and Your Health
For more information on our methods and the associated health benefits of TRT, we recommend reading our comprehensive guide, which contains facts and answers to the most common questions regarding the treatment of low testosterone.