Study unlinks testosterone and heart attacks

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A study of 24,000 Medicare patients has acquitted testosterone therapy of being associated with an increased risk for heart attack. The Wall Street Journal reports that the study revealed that the hormone-boosting therapy (which includes AbbVie's billion-dollar treatment Androgel) was even associated with reducing the risk of heart attack.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association is one of several studies which linked the prescription testosterone boost to higher cardiovascular risk in older men with a history of heart disease, but the WSJ notes that critics attacked the JAMA study's methodology, such as its inclusion of over 100 women. Critics have demanded JAMA retract the study, but the publication has refused.

The WSJ notes that this new study also has some weaknesses, including its sole focus on men who received testosterone injections, leaving out pills, patches and gels. Researchers were also unable to “assess what other medications the men were taking.”

This study is not an all-clear, even for its endorsers. The FDA added a black-box warning to “low-T treatments” in June concerning risk of blood clot in veins, caused by a surge in red blood cells, which is a result of the testosterone treatments.

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