Testosterone deficiency is a common medical condition that results in loss of muscle mass and physical strength, diminished sex drive, and a low energy level. To treat this problem, millions of men receive testosterone therapy to increase their levels of the hormone.
This therapy can come in many forms, including gels, patches, injections, implants and pills.
The popularity of testosterone treatments has skyrocketed recently. Use of the products increased five-fold between 2000 and 2011, and they now generate more than $2 billion in sales each year.
However, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that testosterone therapy may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The study found that cardiovascular problems were six percent higher in men who took testosterone therapy drugs, and that of about 1,200 patients studied over a year-and-a-half period, 67 died, 23 suffered heart attacks and 33 had strokes.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that certain delivery methods, such as gels, increase the risk of women and children being accidentally exposed. In such cases, children could suffer side effects such as early puberty, changes to sex organs, aggressive behavior, advanced bone age, and altered distribution of body hair.
A number of critics claim that producers of testosterone treatments haven’t adequately warned about the dangers, and have used aggressive marketing to sell the treatments to men who don’t really have a medical need for them.
If you or someone you know is receiving a testosterone treatment, it’s important to consult a physician about these issues.
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