Risk also increases with age.
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in males that naturally decreases with age or because of medical conditions like a hypothalamus injury. To mitigate symptoms such as increased hair loss and decreased sex drive, some men may choose to undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). However, too much testosterone can have a detrimental effect, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular health.
Two teams from Epic Research separately determined that there is a 7.9% increased risk of cardiovascular disease in men taking testosterone. The risk increase was especially high for men in their 50s and 60s. The risk went from 5.9% for men in their 50s to 12.2% for men in their 60s.
The teams studied 491,612 men over the age of 30 with no history of heart disease using data collected from Cosmos, a collaboration of 236 Epic health systems representing more than 227 million patient records and published on Jan. 16 on EpicResearch.org. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease depended on whether they received a testosterone prescription.
“The general risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age due to factors such as the build-up of plaque in the arteries and increased incidence of conditions like hypertension and diabetes,” the authors said in an email. “It's possible that the combination of these age-related factors and the use of TRT could contribute to the increased risk observed in this age group, though this was not specifically studied.”
Ways to naturally increase testosterone include more exercise, a healthy diet, and proper sleep.