Men, beware: Low testosterone linked to dramatic increase in death risk

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has established a significant connection between low testosterone levels and an increased risk of mortality, particularly from cardiovascular diseases.

This research underscores that men with low testosterone are at a notably higher risk of dying from heart-related conditions [1].

Testosterone is vital for various bodily functions in men, including muscle mass, bone density and overall mood. When testosterone levels drop, a condition known as hypogonadism, it can lead to several health issues such as obesity, diabetes and poor cholesterol levels, all of which are known contributors to heart disease​ [2].

The study monitored over 2,000 men for several years, discovering that those with low testosterone had a 33% higher overall mortality rate compared to those with normal levels. This elevated risk was even more pronounced regarding deaths from cardiovascular causes.

These findings held even after adjusting for age, smoking habits and pre-existing health conditions​ [3].

Low testosterone can lead to metabolic complications, impaired glucose metabolism and increased inflammation, all of which are linked to cardiovascular issues.

In addition, it has been associated with a higher likelihood of atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become clogged, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes​ [4].

The relationship between testosterone and heart health is intricate. While low testosterone correlates with increased mortality, the safety of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) remains debated.

Experts advise that men with low testosterone symptoms, such as fatigue and decreased libido, should seek medical evaluation, including cardiovascular risk assessment, before starting TRT. Lifestyle factors like a healthy diet, regular physical activity and weight management are also stressed, as they are crucial for maintaining testosterone levels and heart health​.

While low testosterone levels are linked to higher mortality and heart disease risk, TRT should be approached with caution, considering individual cardiovascular risks. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital to managing testosterone levels and heart health.

[1] https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M23-2781
[2] https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2023/nov/testosterone-heart-health-how-low-t-affects-heart-disease-risk/
[3] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/low-testosterone-can-affect-heart-health-and-increase-mortality-risk-study-finds
[4] https://heart.bmj.com/content/96/22/1821

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