Testosterone Low-T Heart Attack Stroke
Testosterone Low-T Heart Attack Stroke Lawsuit
FDA Investigating Studies Linking Low Testosterone Therapy To Increased Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Possibly Death
Testosterone is a hormone that both men and women produce. In men, testosterone helps maintain muscle mass and strength, sex drive, sperm production, bone density, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. As men age their testosterone levels gradually decline. It is hypothesized that a man’s testosterone levels decrease at a rate of 1% annually after reaching the age of 30. In addition to the natural aging process, other causes of low testosterone levels include inflammatory diseases, alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver, stress, obesity, and radiation or chemotherapy treatments for cancer. A blood test is the only way to detect testosterone levels.
Otherwise known as “low T,” low testosterone levels in a man may lead to a dwindling sex drive and affect his sexual performance as well as negatively impact his overall motivation and energy. In the last few years, more and more attention has been given to this serious issue, including increased media coverage on available prescription drug treatments. Testosterone therapy is typically administered in a gel, patch, or injection form and has been promoted as capable of improving a man’s libido, muscle mass, mental health, and overall well-being.
Since the media frenzy targeting middle-aged men and encouraging them to have their T levels checked in 2008, testosterone sales have risen more than 1,800%. In 2012, those sales exceeded $1.9 billion. In 2011, the number of prescriptions issued for low T treatments exceeded 5.3 million. Unfortunately, no one really knows if diagnosis and low T therapies really work. In fact, the FDA has recently released an alert regarding the risk of stroke, heart attack, or even death for men taking testosterone products.
This investigation by the FDA was prompted by two recent studies indicating an increased risk of “cardiovascular events” amongst men using testosterone replacement therapies. The studies appear to link increased cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks in both men over and under 65. In fact, the risk of heart attack doubled for men over 65 years of age within the 90 days after beginning “low T” therapy. Moreover, the risk of heart attacks tripled for men under 65 years old with a history of heart disease. Although the reason for this increase is unclear, researchers believe the increase risk could be due to testosterone promoting clotting of the blood. Nonetheless, the risks are real and potentially life-threatening.
The studies’ conclusions and FDA’s willingness to investigate their indications, provide good reason to worry about heart attacks of men taking low T therapies, especially those who are older, already in compromised health, or with existing heart issues. As the FDA continues its investigation, patients are cautioned not to discontinue use of any “low T” treatment until discussing the health risks with their medical provider.
If you or a loved one has experienced a heart attack or stroke after or while taking a low T therapy, contact trial lawyer Michael P. Fleming immediately to discuss your options. If you are currently undergoing treatment for low T, contact your physician immediately to discuss your options.