"Anytime a physician prescribes a medication, there are going to be some risks associated with that medication," says William Young, Jr., M.D., the chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Endocrinology.
Dr. Young says advertising for testosterone medications to treat so-called low T, particularly during televised sporting events, is prompting men to seek out prescriptions for a medication most of them don't need. "So successful has the marketing for this testosterone therapy been that, according to Drugs.com, an independent medicine website, sales of the testosterone gel Androgel in 2013 exceeded sales of Viagra," according to a statement from the UCLA newsroom regarding a new study of the cardiovascular risks of testosterone therapy.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Young are available in the downloads.
The joint study by UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research Inc., found the risk of a heart attack shortly after beginning testosterone therapy roughly doubled for men under 65 with a history of heart disease. The study, in the Jan. 29 online edition of the journal PLOS ONE, is the largest to date examining heart disease in men using testosterone supplements.