According to a recent study, elderly men who have higher testosterone levels are less susceptible to stroke and heart attack than those with low testosterone. A report of the study appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and it involved the observation of 2,400 Swedish men in their 70s and 80s. The results showed that men who belonged to the quarter of the group with the highest testosterone levels were 30% less likely to suffer from stroke and heart attack than the other subjects.
Leader of the study, Ana Tivesten from the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, said that elderly men with high levels of testosterone have relative protection against cardiovascular conditions, and therefore, those who have lower testosterone levels are at greater risk of contracting heart problems.
The study took into consideration factors that are known to reduce testosterone levels, such as heart disease and obesity. However, the results failed to provide conclusive evidence that the hormone itself plays a significant role in lowering heart disease risk.
Although she did not participate in the study, physician and medical investigator from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, JoAnn Manson, said that low testosterone levels may serve as a marker of other health problems that increase the risk of heart disease in men. She also said that one of the possible reasons why men with higher testosterone levels enjoy better cardiovascular protection is that they have more lean muscles and less body fat.
Furthermore, Manson said that there is a need for more clinical trials to be conducted to determine whether testosterone replacement in elderly men can reduce the risk of heart disease. Such trials are presently being conducted, but the results that have been obtained thus far do not provide clear implications that testosterone replacement can improve “intermediate” outcomes such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
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