A Trial Examines Testosterone and Atherosclerosis

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By Dr. Michael J. Dimitrion, M.D.

A recent clinical trial published by the Journal of the American Medical Association explored the effect between testosterone treatments and atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque on artery walls).i After years of research, the team of scientists found that there was no demonstrable difference in the heart health between the men who took placebos and the men who took the testosterone treatment. In other words: the clinical trial found no evidence that testosterone treatments led to the cardiovascular risk of plaque building up within the artery walls. Let’s talk about why it matters.

An Overview of the Process

The official name of this trial was “Testosterone’s Effects on Atherosclerosis Progression in Aging Men,” TEAAM for short. The researchers first recruited 308 male subjects from across the United States aged 60 or older. Then they were split into two groups, and over the course of three years, TEAAM closely followed half of the male subjects who had unknowingly received placebos, and the other half who had received testosterone gel treatment. The careful design of the research combined with the length of time and the scope of the project make this trail more authoritative than previous studies. To the knowledge of the researchers, this was the largest “randomized trial investigating testosterone’s effects on atherosclerosis progression in older men to date.” The trial was “significantly long to determine clinically meaningful effects” of the treatment on the build-up of plaque on the artery walls.

So What’s Next?

The researchers also admonish that this one trial shouldn’t be used as the only source to establish the cardiovascular safety of testosterone treatments on men, especially men aged 60 or above. Still, as previous studies had been problematic in their design, this is an invaluable trial for anyone hoping to learn more about the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy. Until similarly rigorous studies can be completed, we encourage you to learn more about testosterone treatment by talking to your medical provider at Revibe Men’s Health. Find out more by booking an appointment at one of our 12 locations today.


Download a PDF copy of the research discussed in this post.

i. Shehzad Basaria, MBBS; S. Mitchell Harman, MD, PhD; Thomas G. Travison, PhD; Howard Hodis, MD; Panayiotis Tsitouras, MD; Matthew Budoff, MD; Karol M. Pencina, PhD; Joseph Vita, MD; Connie Dzekov, BS; Norman A. Mazer,MD, PhD; Andrea D. Coviello,MD, MS; Philip E. Knapp, MD; Kathleen Hally, BS; Emma Pinjic,MD, MPH; Mingzhu Yan, MD; ThomasW. Storer, PhD; Shalender Bhasin, MBBS. “Effects of Testosterone Administration for 3 Years on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Progression in Older Men with Low or Low-Normal Testosterone: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Journal of American Medical Association. August 11, 2015 Volume 314, Number 6. Pgs 570-581.