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While heart diseases are the leading cause of mortality among men and women, several studies suggest that men are more likely to suffer from a heart attack or a stroke. According to a study of 34,000 people (about half of whom were women) published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, men are twice as likely as women to have a heart attack. Even after accounting for known risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, body mass index, and physical activity, the increased risk persisted. According to the American Heart Association, more than one in three adult men has heart disease.
There are several factors that increase the risk of developing heart disease in men. Some of the common risk factors include a diet high in saturated fat, alcohol abuse, high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension. Did you know that low testosterone levels can also elevate heart disease risk? According to a study published in the Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal, testosterone levels begin to fall beyond the age of 40 and this drop has been linked to an increase in all-cause mortality and cardiovascular (CV) risk. Low testosterone levels in men can increase the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and more.
But a new study presented at the European Association of Urology Congress found that testosterone supplements can decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes in males with abnormally low testosterone levels.
According to the study, which was presented at the European Association of Urology Congress, the health of men on testosterone therapy was also improved by other methods. They lost weight, gained lean muscle mass, had better cholesterol and liver function, had better diabetic management, and had lower blood pressure.
As per the study, while men require testosterone for specific psychological and biological processes, testosterone treatment is likely to help individuals with low levels who exhibit other symptoms. Bringing testosterone levels back to normal for people at high risk of heart attack and stroke is likely to help them maximise the advantages of other actions needed to improve their health.
For the study, over 800 men with testosterone deficiency were included, whose family history, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, or weight put them at high risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The study included only males with testosterone levels below normal who also had symptoms of low testosterone, such as poor mood, decreased appetite, depression, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, or weight gain. Just over half the men chose long-term testosterone replacement medication, allowing the researchers to compare this group to those who did not get treatment.
All men were encouraged to adopt lifestyle adjustments in terms of food, alcohol, smoking, and exercise to improve their heart health. The study found that 16 men on testosterone treatment died, and none had a heart attack or stroke. There were 74 deaths, 70 heart attacks, and 59 strokes among the 393 males who did not use testosterone supplements.
(with inputs from IANS)
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