LOS ANGELES, CA — In a randomized trial of 138 older men with age-related low testosterone levels, those who received testosterone gel (AndroGel, AbbVie) for a year to attain youthful testosterone levels had a 20% greater buildup of noncalcified plaque in their coronary arteries than those who received a placebo gel.
These findings from the Cardiovascular Trial—one of the seven National Institutes of Health (NIH) Testosterone Trials (T Trials) examining different clinical outcomes in older men with age-related low testosterone levels who receive testosterone or placebo—were published in the February 21, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The men had a mean age of 71 and a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, and half had severe atherosclerosis.
The findings “should at least strike some caution in people, to not be too laissez- faire” about testosterone therapy in similar men, Dr Matthew J Budoff (Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center) told
“Plaque progression is bad; there’s no mechanism by which this could be helpful,” he continued. When treating men with low testosterone, “I…