The popularity of testosterone supplementation among older men has increased substantially over the past decade. However, the risks and benefits of long-term administration are still unclear. A new study examined whether using testosterone supplements affected the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), which is linked to heart attack and stroke.
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston studied more than 300 men who were sixty years of age and older, in relatively good health, and had low or low-normal testosterone levels. Half the men applied a testosterone gel daily to the skin for three years, while the other half were given a placebo gel. During the course of the trial, hardening of the arteries was measured in the carotid and coronary arteries, which supply the brain and heart.
Results were that during the three year study, there was no significant effects in terms of hardening of the carotid or coronary arteries. Testosterone supplementation also did not improve overall sexual function or health-related quality of life.
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