Low testosterone levels can cause significant health problems for aging men. All men experience a testosterone decline as they age. However, too-low testosterone levels can lead to heart disease and death. The simplest answer is to treat low testosterone with hormone replacement therapy. However, such therapies can also cause increased health risks for patients. As a result, Low-T fatalities hit families who least expected it.
From multiple angles, it looks like low testosterone is a difficult problem to solve. It’s an even scarier one to face as a patient. With the FDA receiving reports about AndroGel fatalities, men should carefully weigh low testosterone therapy risks and benefits.
Low Testosterone Causes Problems
Hormone levels (particularly testosterone) gradually decrease with age. For men in particular, low testosterone levels can cause:
- decreased energy levels
- hair loss
However, certain medical conditions can also automatically lower men’s testosterone levels, including:
Inability to produce testosterone within the testicles, caused by genetics or chemotherapy
Problems in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland—the parts of the brain that control testosterone production
Cardiovascular Issues Lead to Most Low-T Fatalities
For men without any medical condition, however, low testosterone increases risk for heart disease. In 2007, WebMD reported findings on a University of Cambridge study that looked at British men, ranging in age from 40–79.
University of Cambridge gerontologist Kay-Tee Khaw asserted that the study found that “men with lower testosterone levels had an increased risk of dying from any cause, but most particularly of cardiovascular disease,” but that the same study “found no evidence of a link to cancer with higher testosterone levels.” Thus, the study helped link low testosterone with the range of health problems—and particularly heart disease—that are linked to it.
It’s clear that low testosterone is a major health concern, and comes with significant health risks, for the men who experience it. But is hormonal replacement therapy really the best course of action for reducing these health risks?
Low-T Therapies: Are they the right solution?
While the Cambridge study alludes to the fact that hormonal therapy may be necessary to help men avoid the risks associated with low testosterone levels, have shown that Low-T therapies aren’t always the best solution.
While many aging men face the impact of lowered testosterone levels, the FDA has clearly stated that testosterone therapies and products are approved only for men with lowered testosterone as a result of an associated medical condition, such as those listed above. As the FDA puts it, “None of the FDA-approved testosterone products are approved for use in men with low testosterone levels who lack an associated medical condition.”
And yet, from 2001-2011, the number of men using Low-T products increased from .81% to 2.91%. And in about the same time period, thousands of men have come forward to file claims against the manufacturers of such products after experiencing heart attack or stroke.
In fact, in March 2015, the FDA issued an updated low-T therapy warning. The agency’s statement warned about increased heart attack and stroke risks for men receiving low-T therapy. In fact, so many cases have come forward that a federal, multi-district has formed in northern Illinois to centralize the claims. The fact remains that no FDA-approved testosterone products are approved for men who are not suffering from a medical condition that causes low testosterone levels. And the question of what to do for those who do suffer from low testosterone also remains.
It seems that, for the time being, we’re in something of a waiting game.
How Families Get Justice for Low-T Fatalities
Families of victims with low-T fatalities are holding manufacturers accountable for downplaying risks. If you or someone you love experienced serious heart problems with low-t therapy, you may qualify for compensation. To see if you may be eligible for a cash settlement, fill out your free compensation evaluation form now. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced advocate will contact you to discuss your compensation options.