Harvard Heart Letter

Focus on hormones: Testosterone therapy's benefits, risks need crystallizing

Focus on hormones

Testosterone therapy's benefits, risks need crystallizing

In older men, low testosterone may contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

Testosterone, the most male of hormones, profoundly affects the heart. In young men, it nudges the heart (and other parts of the body) toward romance. In older men, it helps keep the heart ticking and blood vessels in shape for love and everything else.

Testosterone was once thought to be bad for the heart, a key culprit behind the tendency of heart disease to appear earlier in men than in women. But a growing body of research indicates that for older men, it's too little testosterone that poses problems, cardiovascular and otherwise.

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