Studies show testosterone replacement therapy can improve muscle mass, bone density and sexual function. But those changes may come with a cost.
Researchers reviewed data from about 8700 veterans who had routine medical care at VA hospitals around the country. All had low testosterone levels and had undergone a heart catheterization, a test which can detect blockages in the heart.
Eighty percent were diagnosed with heart disease, the other 20 percent weren't. About 14 percent of the men were given testosterone therapy after the heart cath.
Researchers say men who are started on testosterone therapy had a 29 percent higher risk of death, heart attack and stroke compared to men who were not started on testosterone therapy after their coronary angiogram.
Scientists say About 3 percent of men over 40 are prescribed testosterone therapy, but there's limited data on its long term benefits and risks.