Friday, November 15, 2013

Testosterone Supplementation and Increased Mortality

This study in JAMA found that the use of testosterone replacement therapy was associated with a 29% increased risk of adverse outcomes (all-cause mortality, MI, or ischemic stroke.)

COMMENT: there are several issues driving an increased use of testosterone replacement therapy. First is the assumption that a below average testosterone level is unhealthy. The decline in testosterone with age likely is just as normal as gray hair, balding, or arthritis in me. Attempting to "correct" what is essentially a normal change with age may lead to harm, and earlier death rather than prolong youth. 

The second major driver of increased testosterone therapy likely is profit. Turning a normal process (aging) into a disease ( "low" testosterone) is a common tactic of some pharmaceutical makers. 

JAMA Network | JAMA | Association of Testosterone Therapy With Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, and Stroke in Men With Low Testosterone Levels