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Impact of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death in Men With Low Testosterone Concentrations in an Integrated Health Care System

Jeffrey L Anderson, Heidi T May, Donald L Lappé, Tami Bair, Viet Le, John F Carlquist, Joseph B Muhlestein
American Journal of Cardiology 2016 March 1, 117 (5): 794-9
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on cardiovascular outcomes. Men (January 1, 1996, to December 31, 2011) with a low initial total testosterone concentration, a subsequent testosterone level, and >3 years of follow-up were studied. Levels were correlated with testosterone supplement use. The primary outcome was major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), defined as a composite of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and stroke at 3 years. Multivariate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) comparing groups of persistent low (<212 ng/dl, n = 801), normal (212 to 742 ng/dl, n = 2,241), and high (>742 ng/dl, n = 1,694) achieved testosterone were calculated by Cox hazard regression. A total of 4,736 men were studied. Three-year rates of MACE and death were 6.6% and 4.3%, respectively. Subjects supplemented to normal testosterone had reduced 3-year MACE (HR 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56 to 0.98, p = 0.04) compared to persistently low testosterone, driven primarily by death (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.90). HRs for MI and stroke were 0.73 (95% CI 0.40 to 1.34), p = 0.32, and 1.11 (95% CI 0.54 to 2.28), p = 0.78, respectively. MACE was noninferior but not superior for high achieved testosterone with no benefit on MI and a trend to greater stroke risk. In conclusion, in a large general health care population, TRT to normal levels was associated with reduced MACE and death over 3 years but a stroke signal with high achieved levels suggests a conservative approach to TRT.


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