We already know about the alleged link between testosterone therapy and heart attacks and stroke. Testosterone therapy lawsuits have been filed across the country as thousands of plaintiffs claim that the largely unnecessary treatment led to severe and, at times fatal, side effects.
Testosterone therapy has been developed and marketed as a way of treating a manufactured condition known as ‘Low T.’ It is a simple fact of life that a man produces less and less testosterone as he ages. The resulting decrease in libido, energy, and the tendency to want to sleep after a large meal are now billed as ‘symptoms’ rather than just being a part of getting older.
Symptoms, however, can be cured. And the cure for the symptoms of older age is the magic of testosterone therapy according to some pharmaceutical company marketing.
The result of the campaign to reimagine and defy aging has been disastrous for many. And now a new study suggests that it could get worse. In addition to heart attack and strokes, testosterone therapy could play a role in the development of blood clots in patients’ veins in a condition known as venous thromboembolism, or VTE, according to the study.
The American Heart Association says that VTEs can result in heart attacks, strokes, organ damage, and the death of the patient.
Researchers in this study were quick to caution that it doesn’t establish direct causation. Nor does it mean that men are going to start developing blood clots en masse; as the risk of VTE in men is low to begin with. One researcher suggests that these findings equate to ‘about one additional case of blood clots for every 1,000 men a year.’
Still, those who are already at an elevated risk for blood clots should take note, as anything that increases the risk of something one might already be predisposed to should generally be avoided. Putting it another way, throwing gas on an already burning fire rarely ends well.
While testosterone therapy is widely regarded as a solution in search of a problem, there are plenty who would sing its praises. But, the risks of heart attack, stroke, and now blood clots are too significant to ignore. Most decisions in life come down to some form of risk versus reward. But when the risks include death or a lifetime of reduced mobility, few rewards tend to measure up.