360° Coverage : Low T Or High Risk? Testosterone Treatments And Heart Attacks

2 Updates

Low T Or High Risk? Testosterone Treatments And Heart Attacks

Jan 29 2014, 10:52pm CST | by

Maybe ‘Low T’ is something men may want to live with, after all. A new study finds that treatments for boosting low testosterone levels – which pervasive marketing warns can interfere with sex drive...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

30 weeks ago

Low T Or High Risk? Testosterone Treatments And Heart Attacks

Jan 29 2014, 10:52pm CST | by

Maybe ‘Low T’ is something men may want to live with, after all. A new study finds that treatments for boosting low testosterone levels – which pervasive marketing warns can interfere with sex drive, moods and energy – may increase the risk of heart attacks in large swathes of men.

Specifically, the risk doubled during the first three months after starting therapy in men younger than 65 years old who had a history of heart disease. Similarly, the risk also doubled for all men older than 65 – those with or without heart disease – shortly after beginning treatment, according the study published in PLOS One.

At first blush, this may not seem to be heart-stopping news. Previous studies have suggested such therapies – including the widely touted AndroGel that is sold by AbbVie – can increase cardiovascular risk. In fact, a small study published in The New England Journal of Medicine three years ago reached such a conclusion (read this).

But the latest study is different and, consequently, may have the potential to change the conversation about the extent to which using testosterone treatments is desirable. And the results are prompting calls for the FDA to update product labeling (see this, this and this) in order to flag cardiovascular concerns.

Why? Unlike earlier efforts, the latest study examined a large population. The researchers culled records of 55,593 men who had been prescribed testosterone treatments, including 48,539 who were younger than 65 years old. The data was obtained from Truven Health Analytics, which aggregates patient records.

“Due to the size of our study, we were able to examine heart attacks, as opposed to a variety of cardiovascular conditions, and we were able to examine excess risk in the short term,” says William Finkle, the lead author and an epidemiologist at Consolidated Research, a statistics and software development firm. “Our study is also the first to include a substantial number of men under 65″ (here is the study).

An AbbVie spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The researchers also compared patients given testosterone treatments – which include the Axiron solution sold by Eli Lilly and the Androderm patch marketed by Actavis – with those given the Viagra and Cialis erectile dysfunction pills, since these are similarly prescribed for enhancing sexual performance.

Here, they found that men younger than 65 who were given testosterone boosters and had a history of heart disease were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, relative to the impotence pills. The implication is that the increase in cardiovascular risk is due to the treatments, not the sexual behavior.

The findings come amid years of aggressive promotion of testosterone treatments. A study published last fall in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that annual prescriptions for these elixirs rose more than five-fold from 2000 to 2011, reaching 5.3 million prescriptions. Sales totaled nearly $2 billion in 2012, according to IMS Health, the research firm.

The marketing has sometimes been controversial. Four years ago, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine found only 2 percent of men aged 40 to 80 suffered from ‘Low T,’ which is sometimes called male menopause, but the web site run by Abbott Laboratories (and now by AbbVie) was criticized for overstating the case.

And two years ago, a group of physicians and academics complained to the independent Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board in Canada that an AndroGel campaign harmed public health by promoting unapproved uses and implying exaggerated effectiveness.

Consequently, the PLOS authors recommend further studies that can “assess the range of benefits and risks.” Although Sid Wolfe of Public Citizen Health Research Group believes the FDA should not wait to update the product labeling to reflect the risk of heart attacks.

“This study adds an enormous amount to what is known about the risks,” he argues. “It’s an important breakthrough and the implications are sobering, but unfortunately, there is nothing in the current labeling or the med guides for patients.”

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double trag ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment
Abuja, Sep 2 (IANS) Nigeria will soon get a Japanese drug to treat Ebola, the country's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday.
 
 
Japan to aid connectivity upgrade in northeast India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) India and Japan Monday decided to strengthen cooperation for improving connectivity and socio-economic development in northeastern states of India.
 
 
Three Ebola cases recorded in Nigeria oil hub
Abuja, Sep 1 (IANS) At least three cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been recorded in Nigeria's oil hub of Port Harcourt, where a fatality was confirmed last week, the country's Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said here Monday.
 
 
India, Japan to elevate strategic partnership
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said relations with Japan were of the "highest priority" for his government and announced a slew of initiatives, including turning the strategic partnership into a "special" partnership and a fast-track channel for Japanese investors.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Modi stresses on women empowerment, education
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday stressed on the need for women's empowerment in the present-day world. Modi, who was addressing students of the Sacred Hearts University here, said he has...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Country with knowledge will lead world: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said that 21st century is the century of knowledge and the country with "knowledge and information will lead the world". "...the one who has knowledge and...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Eight killed in China landslides
Beijing, Sep 2 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and 24 missing Tuesday after heavy rains caused landslides in China's Chongqing province. Rescue teams, including fire-fighters and police, have evacuated over 7...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Spain returns Colombian treasure
Bogota, Sep 2 (IANS/EFE) Spain has returned to Colombia 691 indigenous artefacts seized in a police operation 11 years ago. The items - from different epochs, cultures and regions, include objects with organic and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Travel across India for enhanced learning: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday asked IT experts to step out of their rooms and travel across India to enhance their learning. "You will learn as much outside your rooms as you will learn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
New anti-terror measures to be introduced in Britain: Cameron
London, Sep 2 (IANS) British Prime Minister David Cameron Monday said his country will introduce a slew of measures to prevent terror suspects from travelling abroad, imposing tougher constraints on suspected...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
I don't enjoy my voice: Romeo Santos
Los Angeles, Sep 2 (IANS) Singer Romeo Santos is often baffled by fans who pay to listen to him sing, because he hates his own voice. The 33-year-old says he hates both his speaking and singing voice, reports...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Eight killed in France building collapse
Paris, Sep 2 (IANS/EFE) As many as eight people have died due to a building collapse in Paris till Monday, French emergency management services said. Firefighters had recovered before dawn Monday the bodies of two...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Modi focuses on women's empowerment, education
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday stressed on the need for women's empowerment in the present-day world as he began the fourth day of his visit to Japan. Modi, who was addressing students of the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
George Clooney's back pain continues
Los Angeles, Sep 2 (IANS) Almost 10 years after filming the Oscar-nominated movie "Syriana", actor George Clooney is still feeling the effects of his on-set back injury. The actor traveled to Duke University earlier...
Read more on Celebrity Balla