Testosterone a promising therapy for heart failure, research finds

Posted April 30, 2012

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Stable heart failure patients’ endurance may be helped by testosterone therapy, says a report in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal of the American Heart Assn.

Researchers analyzed four randomized clinical trials and found that the treatments helped moderate to severe heart failure patients exercise more and breathe better. The studies represented 198 patients with a mean age of 67. Compared with those who received a placebo, patients given supplemental testosterone by injection, patch or gel scored 50% better in a six-minute walking test, said the report published online April 17 (link).

Eighty-four percent of the patients were men. None developed signs of prostate disease, and there was no increase in cardiovascular events from the treatments. But more research is needed before the results can be applied to clinical practice, the report said.

“We don’t want patients and their loved ones rushing to buy testosterone supplements online,” said Dr. Justin A. Ezekowitz, report co-author and director of the Heart Function Clinic at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. “First the results need to be corroborated in large clinical trials.”

Note: This item originally appeared at

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