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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Minnesota: Testosterone Therapy May Double Men’s Risk of Forming Blood Clots in Veins

An estimated 1.6 million men in the U.S. are on testosterone therapy to treat sexual dysfunction and other health issues. In 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued a warning that testosterone therapy, applied to the skin or via an injection, can increase a patient’s risk of stroke and heart attack. 

Researchers with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health recently discovered the medication can double a man’s risk of developing dangerous blood clots. The study, led by researcher Mr. Rob Walker and co-authored by associate professors Dr. Pamela Lutsey and Dr. Richard MacLehose, was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition that occurs when blood clots form in the veins. These clots sometimes travel throughout the body and lodge in the lungs, potentially killing the victim. The risk for developing a VTE increases as people age. 

To determine if testosterone therapy is associated with increased risk of VTE, the researchers analyzed nearly 40,000 VTE cases occurring between 2011-2017. The researchers examined the cases to identify if patients took testosterone therapy in the year before their VTE. They also determined whether patients were diagnosed with hypogonadism, a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough natural testosterone.

The researchers found:

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