Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Testosterone and the Heart Part Two - Dach

Testosterone and the Heart Part Two by Jeffrey Dach MD

In Part One, we discussed a 2010 study from Boston University in which testosterone was given to immobilized, elderly, obese male smokers.  The study was halted early because of poor outcome with increased heart attacks and “cardiac events”  in the testosterone treated group.

Second Study Shows  Poor Outcome in Testosterone Group

A second study from the University of Texas was just published in JAMA .(2)  This study was done on Veterans undergoing coronary angiography with documented coronary artery disease.  Some of these Veterans had low testosterone levels (below 300) .  These veterans were given testosterone treatment and followed.  At the end of three years of follow up, the untreated men had a  20%  incidence of stroke,  heart attack or death, while the testosterone treated group had a higher 26% incidence.  This is 20% untreated, vs. 26% treated.  Clearly, the testosterone did not miraculously reverse the atherosclerosis disease in this group of veterans.(2-6)

Benefits of Testosterone Clearly Documented in Medical Literature

As discussed in part one, decades of research studies have shown that low testosterone in men is a risk factor for early mortality from cardiovascular disease, and testosterone treatment reduces mortality, especially in the diabetic males. (7-10)

Testosterone Treatment Does Not Reverse Heart Disease

However, it is clear from these two studies that testosterone by itself is insufficient as a therapy to reverse coronary artery plaque in men who have diets and lifestyles which promote heart disease, and who already have significant underlying coronary artery disease.

Track Your Plaque BlogLeft Image logo courtesy of Track Your Plaque Blog.

Track Your Plaque Program

For our office patients who are interested in reversing coronary artery plaque, we use the William Davis MD Track Your Plaque Program. This is an excellent program which is well thought out.  See my article on this: Reversing Heart Disease.

I wonder what the outcome of these two studies would have been if the testosterone treated group had been started on the Track Your Plaque Program which monitors lipo-protein profile and the Calcium Score, and uses diet and lifestyle modification and supplements to reduce Calcium Score and increase LDL particle size.

There are many unanswered questions.  I also  wonder what the Vitamin D levels were, and what the thyroid levels were on these men,   How much trans fats were they consuming?  How much were they smoking and how much alcohol did they consume?  How much overweight were they?


One conclusion seems clear and that is testosterone by itself does not replace the Track Your Plaque Program of Diet, Lifestyle modification and Supplements to reverse heart disease.  As these two studies show, clinical outcomes for Testosterone Treatment may actually be worse for subgroups of men with severe coronary artery disease, especially when no changes are made to the diet and lifestyles that promote heart disease.

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road, Suite 180/190
Davie, Florida 33314

Articles With Related Content:

Low Testosterone Diagnosis and Treatment
HCG in Males with Low Testosterone
Testosterone Benefits, PSA and Prostate Part One
Testosterone and PSA Part Two
Clomid for Men with Low Testosterone Part One
Low Testosterone From Pain Pills
Low Testosterone Associated with Increased Mortality
Testosterone Reduces Mortality
Testosterone Blockade Increases Mortality
Testosterone Found Beneficial For Diabetes

Links and References:
N Engl J Med. 2010 Jul 8;363(2):109-22. Epub 2010 Jun 30.
Adverse events associated with testosterone administration.
Basaria S, Coviello AD, Travison TG, Storer TW, Farwell WR, Jette AM, Eder R, Tennstedt S, Ulloor J, Zhang A, Choong K, Lakshman KM, Mazer NA, Miciek R, Krasnoff J, Elmi A, Knapp PE, Brooks B, Appleman E, Aggarwal S, Bhasin G, Hede-Brierley L, Bhatia A, Collins L, LeBrasseur N, Fiore LD, Bhasin S. Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.

2) http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1764051  Association of Testosterone Therapy With Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, and Stroke in Men With Low Testosterone Levels  by Rebecca Vigen, MD, MSCS1; Colin I. O’Donnell, MS2,3; Anna E. Barón, PhD2,3; Gary K. Grunwald, PhD2,3; Thomas M. Maddox, MD, MSc2,3,4; Steven M. Bradley, MD, MPH2,3,4; Al Barqawi, MD3; Glenn Woning, MD3; Margaret E. Wierman, MD2,3; Mary E. Plomondon, PhD2,3,4; John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD2,3,4; P. Michael Ho, MD, PhD2,3,4  The University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 2VA Eastern Colorado Health Care
JAMA. 2013;310(17):1829-1836.

3) http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/11/concerns-raised-about-testosterone-therapy/  Concerns Raised about Testosterone Therapy Study: testosterone replacement linked to heart risks By Steven Nissen, MD | 11/8/13 2:26 p.m.
4) Testosterone treatments linked with heart riskshttp://www.thetowntalk.com/viewart/20131112/LIFESTYLE/311130006/Testosterone-treatments-linked-heart-risks
5) http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303661404579180294201174958  Testosterone Therapy Tied to Heart Risks
Veterans With History of Heart Disease Had Higher Risk of Death, Heart Attack and Stroke, According

6) http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-heart-disease-testosterone-replacement-20131105,0,3592717.story  Testosterone medication may boost risk of heart attack, stroke, death
7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22496507  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun;97(6):2050-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2591. Epub 2012 Apr 11.  Testosterone treatment and mortality in men with low testosterone levels. Shores MM, Smith NL, Forsberg CW, Anawalt BD, Matsumoto AM.
Source  Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, 1660 South Columbian Way, S-116PES, Seattle, Washington 98108, USA.

8) http://www.endocrine-abstracts.org/ea/0025/ea0025p163.htm
Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 25 P163
Low testosterone predicts increased mortality and testosterone replacement therapy improves survival in men with type 2 diabetes
Vakkat Muraleedharan1,2, Hazel Marsh1 & Hugh Jones1,2

9) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23999642
Eur J Endocrinol. 2013 Oct 21;169(6):725-33. doi: 10.1530/EJE-13-0321. Print 2013.
Testosterone deficiency is associated with increased risk of mortality and testosterone replacement improves survival in men with type 2 diabetes.
Muraleedharan V, Marsh H, Kapoor D, Channer KS, Jones TH.
Source  Robert Hague Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Barnsley Hospital NHSFT, Gawber Road, Barnsley S75 2EP, UK.

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road, Suite 180/190
Davie, Florida 33314
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