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Bad Science Can Spread Like A Virus

When I strongly recommended testosterone to a 76 year old patient with a history of cardiac bypass surgery and 5 cardiac stents I was surprised about how adamant he was about not following my advice. When I asked why, his response was “I’ve heard too many negative things about testosterone. Plus, my cardiologist does not want me using it”.

Up until two years ago there was very little controversy surrounding the use of bio-identical testosterone in men. In fact its use was at an all-time high. But then JAMA ( The Journal of the American Medical Association) published two studies implicating testosterone therapy in an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. These studies were later found to be seriously flawed but that did not stop the FDA from issuing a black box warning for testosterone.

It took JAMA two months to issue two retraction to the erroneous and misleading study. This was just enough time for the press (and I might add ,the attorneys) to take this bombshell study and run with it.

But something good did come out of this debacle. Earlier this year, a new study out of the Intermountain Heart Institute in Utah directly addressed and refuted the FDA warning, showing that testosterone therapy is not only safe in elderly men but actually protects their hearts!

The researchers compared their results to an age-matched group of cohorts and found that the patients who didn’t receive testosterone had a whopping 80% greater risk of stroke, heart attack, or death. But this study is just the tip of the iceberg of 70 years of amazingly positive studies supporting the benefits of testosterone therapy. You can go to www.androgenstudygroup.org to read more.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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