Scientists in the United States (US) have warned that testosterone therapy could double a man’s risk of suffering a potentially life-threatening blood clot. These are the findings of a new study in the online edition of ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’.
The researchers reported that men who had been receiving testosterone supplements during the previous six months had twice the risk for a deep vein blood clot. According to the lead author, Rob Walker, these findings should cause men to think twice about asking for testosterone treatments to battle normal symptoms of ageing. Walker is a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in Minneapolis in the U.S. A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state. Clotting is a necessary process that can prevent you from losing too much blood in certain instances, such as when you’re injured or cut. When a clot forms inside one of your veins, it won’t always dissolve on its own.
The increased risk occurred whether or not a man had the low-testosterone condition known as hypogonadism, which is also known as testosterone deficiency. This is a failure of the testes to produce the male sex hormone testosterone, sperm, or both. It can be due to a testicular disorder or the result of a disease process.
However, the increased risk for the blood clot appeared to be more pronounced in middle-aged men than in seniors, the study findings showed. While urging men to be cautious in asking for testosterone treatments to battle normal symptoms of ageing, Walker said, “If a potential patient reads this and maybe is seeking out testosterone therapy for some kind of common symptoms, like weight gain or sexual function, maybe they should seek out behavioural changes or lifestyle changes that will improve their health without a prescription.”
Quoting an Associate Professor of Cardiology, Critical Care and Pulmonology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, Dr. Umesh Gidwani, the ‘Newsmax- Health’ reported that testosterone posed the risk of blood clot because it “revs up the consistency of the clotting factors in the blood.”