Newspaper article International New York Times

Overselling Testosterone

Newspaper article International New York Times

Overselling Testosterone

Article excerpt

Amid an upsurge in prescriptions, a study signals the dangers of overtreament.

A large study has found substantial risks in prescribing testosterone to middle-age and older men for a variety of ailments. One part of the study found that testosterone doubled the risk of cardiovascular disease in more than 7,000 men 65 or older, essentially confirming findings in previous studies. The other part found that testosterone almost tripled the risk of heart attacks in a group of more than 48,000 middle-age men with previous histories of heart disease. The harm in both cases occurred within 90 days of receiving the prescription.

The study, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, provides the most compelling evidence yet that many American men have embarked on a perilous course of overtreatment. Testosterone is clearly indicated to treat abnormally low levels of the hormone because of genetic or pathological causes. But a huge upsurge in prescriptions in recent years suggests that testosterone is now being prescribed to men who are simply reluctant to accept the fact that they are getting older. …

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