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HealthBrief: Testosterone reduces risk of heart attack

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In a study out of Galveston, TX, published this month, among 6,355 men treated with testosterone there was a statistically insignificant 16% lower risk of heart attack requiring hospitalization in comparison with 19,065 matched controls who were never given the hormone. However, among men whose risk of a heart attack was among the top 25% of subjects, treatment with testosterone was associated with a 31% lower risk of the event in comparison with untreated subjects.

“Some investigators have suggested that testosterone therapy may improve cardiovascular health by way of decreasing fat mass, insulin sensitivity, and lipid profile,” authors Jacques Baillargeon, PhD, and colleagues write. “Moreover, testosterone may possess anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties that may reduce carotid intima media thickness. It is possible that our findings of a protective effect among men in the highest myocardial infarction prognostic group reflect a process whereby testosterone reduces peripheral vascular resistance, thereby reducing stress on the heart among those who have some degree of coronary artery disease.”