Is Testosterone Therapy in Men Harmful?

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Is Testosterone Therapy in Men Harmful?

Testosterone MADNESS!!!testosterone photo

Is Testosterone Therapy in Men Harmful? It may not be “Reefer Madness”, but the medical rhetoric is close to a carbon copy.

Have you noticed any billboards or internet ads from lawyers willing to “help” if you are a man over 50, having received testosterone therapy, and have had a cardiovascular event (heart attack, chest pain, swollen ankles etc?)  If not, look a little closer, it’s now a…thing…, kind of a big thing $$$$

The fact is, all you have to be to die of a heart attack, is an American.  Period.  Exclamation point.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. for many decades.  Worsening, in fact, since the 1960’s when the USDA food pyramid suggested we replace saturated fat and cholesterol containing foods with carbohydrate-rich foods.., “6-11 helpings of grain based food daily”.  And that did it!  We quickly became the fattest nation on Earth (just lost the race to Mexico, we’re now # 2).  And, lo, the suffering of our brothers and sisters rose (wait, what?) and crescendoed (wait, but…?). And CVD gained a greater gravitational field as the leading cause of death in our great nation.

But now, recent studies show a hidden culprit…….

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 2013; 310: 1829-36) olderish men had increased cardiovascular events (heart attacks, and other “events”) while on testosterone therapy.

Ouch, that totally sucks.  What about the 40+ years of robust scientific studies in the literature saying exactly the opposite? Androgen (testosterone and DHEA) therapy decreases the long-term risk.

After this study was published, ”A post by three professional medical societies, along with an international group of 130 scientists and physicians, has petitioned JAMA to retract this recent article”  stating : “gross data mismanagement thereby rendering the article no longer credible”.

“This is an extraordinary event” stated Abraham Morgentaler, MD, of Harvard University, chairman of the Androgen Study Group.  “In my 25 years in academic medicine, I have never witnessed anything like this response to a journal article”. “To have several professional societies and so many of the most accomplished experts in the field unite in this action indicates the seriousness of the articles errors, and the magnitude of damage this article has caused to the public’s perception of testosterone therapy.”

In a nutshell, Morgentaler et al, (the Androgen Study Group), produced a 27 page document in response to the recently published study. There are 213 citations (references to published studies).  Only 4 suggest testosterone therapy is harmful, and those have serious study design issues.


One of my incredible mentors, Neal Rouzier M.D., summarized Morgentaler’s findings, published by Mayo Clinic, with a bit of his own wisdom.  In essence, he simply asks if nearly 50 years of good solid published data can upturn 4, less than upstanding, studies?  I personally reviewed this data and hold firm with my mentors.  I will confidently continue to treat my patients using androgen therapy.

Check it out, decide for yourself. Here’s the full article:


Mayo Clinic, Special Article: Testosterone Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk: Advances and Controversies (213 citations)