Should you be on testosterone to decrease your risk of heart disease and heart attack?
The untimely death of James Gandolfini yesterday got me thinking about heart disease and heart attacks. And, of course, about testosterone.
Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans. And Canadians. And Brits. And Russians. And Germans. And Australians. And French. And Italians. In fact, it is the number one killer in virtually every Western country.
What does this have to do with testosterone? There is strong evidence suggesting that a deficiency of testosterone plays an important role in the development of heart disease. Still, most cardiologists and primary care physicians don’t think about testosterone when it comes to caring for their patients.
When many of us think about testosterone, we think about sex and muscles. Or we think about abuse in high school, college and professional sports or abuse by bodybuilders in gyms. So testosterone has gotten a bit of a bad rap, to say the least.
Unfortunately, many doctors think the same thing when they think about testosterone. Poor testosterone! So here are some facts to arm you with so you can educate your doctor.
There are several very strong studies suggesting the beneficial role testosterone plays in the prevention of heart disease (references available upon request; see end of article):
- Men with higher levels of testosterone have a lower incidence of heart disease and restoring deficient men to youthful levels prevents the worsening of heart disease, results in less chest pain during exercise, and results in better stress-treadmill test performance.
- A recent study of 2500 men showed that those with the lowest levels of testosterone had the greatest degree of blockage in their arteries.
- A landmark analysis of the relationship between testosterone and subsequent risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) reviewed over 8000 men from 11 studies. The data analysis revealed that in 10 of 11 studies, higher testosterone levels were associated with lower CVD risk. Men in the upper third for testosterone level had 20% the atherosclerosis risk than men in the lower one-third.
- Testosterone reduces C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in blood vessels and of heart disease risk.
- Testosterone increases lifespan. Men with the highest testosterone levels live the longest.
- Testosterone optimization helps reduce obesity.
- Testosterone increases lean body mass (muscular weight).
- Testosterone raises HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Older men treated with testosterone show decreases in total cholesterol and LDL.
There is a higher concentration of testosterone receptors in the heart than any other organ in the human body. It is absolutely essential for optimal cardiac function. Responsibly optimizing your levels is key to keeping you functioning at the highest level while decreasing your risk for chronic degenerative diseases.
I encourage you to have your hormone levels tested by a physician who specializes in Age Management Medicine. Yes, testosterone optimization will likely help your sex drive and lean muscle development. But it will also most likely improve your cardiovascular health and may decrease your risk of heart disease, heart attack and premature death.
For more information or references, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org