New Study: Testosterone Therapy Does Not Cause Blood Clots
The University of Texas Medical Branch released the findings of a new study yesterday, which shows that testosterone therapy is not linked to blood clot disorders in veins. Between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012, UTMB enrolled 30,572 commercially insured men to participate in the study. These men, all 40 years of age or older, allowed the university to conclude that middle-aged and older men who receive testosterone therapy are not at risk for developing VTE (venous throembolism), or blood clots in veins. The study was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
What are Low Testosterone and VTE?
In order to fully comprehend the study, it is important to understand the two key components being discussed: testosterone therapy and venous throembolism (VTE).
Low Testosterone and Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone is the major sex hormone in men, which plays a large role in many different areas of male health. This includes the reproductive system, sexuality, muscle mass, bone density, and even certain “manly” behaviors. As men age, testosterone levels naturally decrease. However, this can occur in men of all ages depending on drug use, disease, injury, certain types of cancer, and inherited health issues.
Hypogonadism, commonly referred to as Low T, is a condition when the body is no longer able to produce enough testosterone on its own. Symptoms of low testosterone include weakened sex drive, depression, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, mood swings, and even osteoporosis. The combination of these issues can take its toll on a man’s life; hence, many reach out to urologists and low T specialists for help. Testosterone therapy, which is available in topical creams, skin patches, gels, subcutaneous implants, and injections, can help drastically improve testosterone levels and in turn improves a man’s quality of life.
Venous Throembolism (VTE)
VTE refers to the formation of blood clots in the veins, which causes blockages. The most common forms of VTE include deep vein thrombosis, which occurs in the legs, and pulmonary embolism, which occurs in the lungs. Venous throembolism is the 3rd most common cardiovascular disorder, following heart attack and stroke.
In 2014, the Federal Drug Administration required manufacturers of testosterone therapy medications to include a message warning about the potential risk of VTE on all approved testosterone products. This was based on post-marketing drug surveillance and case reports, all of which provided conflicting evidence. Due to the severity of VTE, it’s no wonder that the possibility of the disease steered many men with medically confirmed low T away from seeking help for their condition. This put them at risk for developing other serious conditions, such as bone loss, decreased lean muscle mass, development of fat tissue, and even metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Men and women can now rest assured that they can seek the treatment they need without a fear of developing blood clots or venous thromboembolism.