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

 
 
 

32 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

2 weeks 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 slashi ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

2 weeks 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 tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
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

EU finance ministers call for more investments to stimulate growth
Milan (Italy), Sep 14 (IANS) More investments were the only way for the European Union (EU) to accelerate its too slow recovery, finance ministers agreed at the Ecofin meeting held in Italy's Milan Saturday.
 
 
Climate change to increase pests in coffee crops: Expert
Bogota, Sep 13 (IANS/EFE) Pests and diseases such as coffee berry borer, coffee rust and leaf spot disease could make a strong comeback due to drastic climate change, a scientist has warned.
 
 
Heart drug could be cure for Ebola: British experts
London, Sep 13 (IANS) Researchers at the University of Liverpool have made a breakthrough that can lead to a cure for the deadly Ebola virus currently sweeping through West Africa, media reports said.
 
 
Indian family refuses to receive body of MERS victim
Riyadh, Sep 13 (IANS) The family of an Indian expatriate, who died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) corona virus in Saudi Arabia, has refused to receive his body in India, amid fears of contracting the deadly disease, a media report said Saturday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Are Beyoncé and Jay Z expecting a baby?
Are Beyoncé and Jay Z expecting a baby? Rumours have sparked that the couple are expecting their second child after Jay Z changed some of his song lyrics. Numerous news outlets are reporting that Jay Z hinted that his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Andrew Garfield blasts hackers as misogynistic and revolting
Andrew Garfield thinks the hackers who leaked nude photos of celebrities are ''misogynistic'' and ''revolting''. The 31-year-old 'Amazing Spiderman' star is the latest person to defend his fellow celebrities after the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Khloé Kardashian's ex-husband desperate to win her back
Lamar Odom is desperate to reconcile with Khloé Kardashian. The 'Keeping Up With The Kardashian' star's ex-husband is reportedly ready to fight for Khloé after she split with her boyfriend of eight months, French...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Slovak PM for referendum on NATO base in Slovakia
Bratislava, Sep 14 (IANS) Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that he would initiate a referendum if his country was pressed into hosting a NATO base, a daily reported Saturday. According to the premier,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Sky Ferreira's obsession with Taylor Swift
Sky Ferreira is ''obsessed'' with Taylor Swift. The 22-year-old singer tweeted the 'Shake It Off' hitmaker to admit her adoration. She tweeted: ''I'm obsessed with @taylorswift13. I'm so late?!??!?!'' (sic). The 'Boys'...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
France defeat Lithuania to take bronze in Basketball World Cup
Madrid, Sep 14 (IANS) France claimed the bronze medal in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Saturday after beating Lithuania 95-93 in the third and fourth place play-off. The French produced a powerful final quarter and...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Lupita Nyong'o gets style tips from mom
Los Angeles, Sep 14 (IANS) Actress Lupita Nyong'o may have some of the best designers in the world to offer her style tips, but she prefers to seek her mother's advice when it comes to her clothes. The Oscar-winning...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
NATO expansion to Russian borders unacceptable: Lavrov
Moscow, Sep 14 (IANS) NATO's expansion by pulling more Russia's neighbouring countries into the alliance is unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday. "NATO expects to turn as many countries...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
EU finance ministers call for more investments to stimulate growth
Milan (Italy), Sep 14 (IANS) More investments were the only way for the European Union (EU) to accelerate its too slow recovery, finance ministers agreed at the Ecofin meeting held in Italy's Milan Saturday. Italian...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Apple Gaining 15 Cents Per $100 Transaction via Apple Pay
Apple is looking to get a huge benefit from its Apple Pay service, as a new report claims that the company would be awarded with a 15 cent profit for every $100 transaction.According to Apple Insider, the news has been...
Read more on Apple Balla