As a man ages, his testosterone tends to go down. After the sex hormone peaks during one’s teenage years, it goes down through a man’s early adulthood and progressively declines as they enter middle life and their senior years.
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For many men, that’s a big problem. Declining testosterone levels can lead to sleep deprivation, obesity, muscle and hair loss, and limited sexual desire.
That’s why many men have turned to testosterone treatment in the form of gels, patches, or injections. Unfortunately, few studies have taken a close look at how these treatments affect a man’s testosterone levels or other parts of the body.
But a new study shows it can have a very positive impact. The study, which involved more than 80,000 American veterans, was carried out between December 1999 and May 2014. The veterans were treated at the Kansas City VA Medical Center.
The study showed that men with low testosterone levels who underwent testosterone replacement therapy (or TRT) lowered their risk of heart attack and stroke.
However, the study also showed that TRT was not always effective. In fact, only 64 percent of the men who underwent the treatment were able to achieve normal testosterone levels. Still, those who did reach such levels had significantly fewer deaths and cardiovascular events than those who did not undergo the treatment.
Rajat S. Barua, a cardiologist and one of the study’s lead authors, says the findings are promising. “This is the first study to demonstrate that significant benefit is observed only if the dose is adequate to normalize the testosterone levels,” he said.