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Testosterone Therapy Linked to Heart Risks, Study Says

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File photo of pills

File photo of pills

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A local cardiac surgeon responds to a study that finds some new worries for men getting testosterone replacement therapy.

The study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found testosterone treatments may increase risk a man’s for heart attacks, strokes and even death by 29 percent.

Researchers looked at older men, most with heart disease, in the Veterans Affairs system who had low testosterone levels.

There are several possible ways testosterone replacement might raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research suggest the hormone it mighty increase the likelihood of clotting within arteries. But further study is needed.

St. Louis University Hospital cardiac surgeon Dr. Richard Lee says the study means,”it’s time to pay more attention.”

Testosterone replacement therapy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for some conditions, it’s widely marketed as a way to improve health and stay young. But there’s little data on its long-term effects.

“It doesn’t mean everybody should stop taking testosterone,” Lee says. “But it’s time to look at it a lot more closely.”

Last year there were 400 million prescriptions in the United States for testosterone therapy and over $2 billion spent on this drug. According to the study, prescriptions for testosterone has increased five times from 2000 to 2011.

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