Increased mortality in men treated with testosterone compared with matched controls

   Researchers at Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, have found that mortality is increased in men treated with testosterone compared with age and gender-matched controls. The researchers presented the poster at ECE 2013, held in April-May of 2013 in Copenhagen. Jesper Karmisholt and colleagues conducted their research because prior reports showed contradictory effects of testosterone treatment and the risk of cardiovascular events.  

   They collected data on everyone in Denmark filing prescriptions for testosterone in the period 1997-2008. Seven thousand three hundred and thirty-three testosterone users were identified. Women and prior (before 1997) testosterone users were excluded, generating a study cohort of 4792 cases (aged 46.3 +/- 0.3 [years +/- S.E.M.]) and 14,376 controls (46.7 +/- 0.2 years), which were followed until December 2011.

   In the mean observation period (13.2 +/- 0.03 years) 858/1963 deaths were observed in cases/controls yielding an unadjusted total mortality odds-ratio of 1.38 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.26 to 1.51, P <0.01) in cases vs controls and, correspondingly, a Cox proportional hazard-ratio of 1.36 (95% CI, 1.25 to 1.47). Unadjusted odds-ratio for cardiovascular death was 1.22 (95% CI, 1.04 to 1.43) in cases vs controls. “We found a significant 36% increased mortality in men treated with testosterone compared to age- and sex-matched controls,” the researchers concluded.

   “We also found an increased risk of cardiovascular death in the cases. However, in this on-going study additional analyses are needed to further clarify whether the observed increased mortality is connected with co-morbidity [or with] concomitant drug.”