Study: Testosterone Supplements Cause Plaque Buildup

Study: Testosterone Supplements Cause Plaque Buildup

A new study adds to the growing body of evidence connecting testosterone supplements and heart disease.

The National Institutes of Health studied 170 men with an average age slightly above 70, which is the target age group for many testosterone supplements. Study participants who used AndroGel for more than twelve months had a 20 percent higher rate of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque. Such participants also had higher rates of heart disease in general. Despite the known side effects, ads for testosterone supplements routinely tout benefits for older men, almost equating low-t therapy with the fountain of youth. But “Plaque progression is bad. There’s no mechanism by which this could be helpful,” remarked study author Dr. Matthew Budoff. “Maybe once you’re 70, you don’t have to be 40 again,” he mused.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association almost on the eve of jury selection in the first testosterone therapy trial in Illinois.

Testosterone Side Effects

In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration issued a stern warning about testosterone supplements, urging doctors to prescribe them to address certain medical conditions and not as a panacea for “male menopause.” In addition to heart problems, artifically elevated testosterone levels have been conclusively linked to:

  • Prostate cancer,
  • Liver disease,
  • Male breast cancer, and
  • Kidney disease.

Men with certain common preexisting conditions, such as those with a family history of cancer or other serious disease, are at an elevated risk for side effects.

In addition to compensatory damages for medical bills and loss of enjoyment in life, many juries award substantial punitive damages in dangerous drug cases, to punish the company and deter otehrs from going down a similar path.

Proving Damages

Researchers speculate that elevated hormone levels cause adverse reactions in the body. For example, Dr. Budoff and his team mentioned earlier studies that linked high estrogen levels and breast cancer.

But this inquiry is largely irrelevant in negligence cases, because there is a big difference between a labratory and a courtroom. Scientists and students debate theories, but jurors decide facts. If a victim developed heart problems while taking a testosterone supplement, the plaintiff need not offer any further evidence on the point, largely because of the low standard of proof in civil court.

That being said, the pharma lawyers will bitterly contest liability by introducing their own experts, and their own studies, which insist that testosterone supplements are safe.

Since the plaintiff has the burden of proof and is therefore unlikely to win a “swearing match,” an attorney must be prepared to attack defense studies and experts. This approach is often effective, because many pharma companies have a stable of experts who give pro-drug maker testimony in multiple cases.

Testosterone supplements often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Cave City, contact Lawyer Gary S. Logsdon. Home and hospital visits are available.