Impact of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death in Men With Low Testosterone Concentrations in an Integrated Health Care System.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on cardiovascular outcomes. Men (January 1, 1996, to December 31, 2011) with a low initial total testosterone concentration, a subsequent testosterone level, and >3 years of follow-up were studied. Levels were correlated with testosterone supplement use. The primary outcome was major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), defined as a composite of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and stroke at 3 years. Multivariate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) comparing groups of persistent low (<212 ng/dl, n = 801), normal (212 to 742 ng/dl, n = 2,241), and high (>742 ng/dl, n = 1,694) achieved testosterone were calculated by Cox hazard regression. A total of 4,736 men were studied. Three-year rates of MACE and death were 6.6% and 4.3%, respectively. Subjects supplemented to normal testosterone had reduced 3-year MACE (HR 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56 to 0.98, p = 0.04) compared to persistently low testosterone, driven primarily by death (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.90). HRs for MI and stroke were 0.73 (95% CI 0.40 to 1.34), p = 0.32, and 1.11 (95% CI 0.54 to 2.28), p = 0.78, respectively. MACE was noninferior but not superior for high achieved testosterone with no benefit on MI and a trend to greater stroke risk. In conclusion, in a large general health care population, TRT to normal levels was associated with reduced MACE and death over 3 years but a stroke signal with high achieved levels suggests a conservative approach to TRT.