If older men take the sex hormone testosterone, this not only strengthens the muscles but also harbors risks for the heart and circulatory system – up to and including a heart attack. This was shown by the TOM study (Testosterone in Older Men with Mobility Limitations), which has now been discontinued because of these alarming results.
Studies On Testosterone As Men Age
Men lose physical strength and mobility with age. At the same time, their testosterone levels also drop. Physiological hypogonadism is often associated with mental health disorders that increase with age. Treating healthy older men with testosterone increases the mass of their muscles and strengthens them. Artificial testosterone intake can also help young and older patients with hypogonadism, i.e. whose gonads produce too little testosterone.
The TOM study was intended to show the extent to which such therapy reverses restricted mobility. Researchers in Boston examined 209 men over the age of 65 with slightly reduced testosterone levels. The subjects were unable to walk more than two blocks or climb ten flights of stairs.
In addition, many of them were already ill: more than 80 percent suffered from high blood pressure, around half were extremely overweight and a good half also suffered from cardiovascular diseases. The doctors gave the participants either a testosterone gel or, as a control, a gel with no active ingredients. You should apply both daily over a period of six months.
Strengthening of the muscles
After 12 weeks, the testosterone-treated participants showed greater leg and arm strength than the placebo-treated men. However, before all men could be included in the analysis, the researchers stopped the study. Because 23 of the 106 men treated with testosterone developed pathological cardiovascular events: circulatory collapse, water retention, cardiac arrhythmias, acute circulatory disorders in the heart, and a stroke. One participant died of a heart attack. In contrast, in the control group of 103 people, only five men fell ill.
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Further studies are necessary
Another recent meta-analysis of this type found no increased cardiovascular risk with testosterone therapy. Therefore, further studies are needed to include elderly patients with hypogonadism, which is associated with anemia, decreased libido, bone loss, and depression, among other things.
If there is a pronounced lack of testosterone, therapy with the sex hormone can significantly increase the quality of life. Men should only receive testosterone therapy with strict management from a medical professional despite positive t-booster reviews. This is to avoid medical complications associated with heart disease.
The results of the TOM study should therefore lead to greater vigilance, especially when patients are at increased cardiovascular risk. However, it should not result in men being deprived of testosterone therapy when they desperately need it.