A Veterans Affairs study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has linked the use of testosterone treatments to cardiac risks in older men. A group of 8,700 senior veterans who had been diagnosed with low testosterone levels and other health complications were studied by a team of researchers through the Veteran Association’s Eastern Colorado Health system. Data was collected on how the individuals in the group reacted to testosterone treatments.

According to USA Today, the study revealed that senior males using testosterone treatments were 30 percent more likely to suffer from heart attack, stroke, and even death when compared to senior males not using the treatments.

Additionally, within three years of the study’s initial cardiac tests on each individual, approximately 26 percent of those using a testosterone treatment experienced unfavorable outcomes.

Testosterone treatments have been traditionally prescribed to men experiencing drops in their hormone levels, which is similar to what women experience during menopause. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved testosterone treatments “for use in men who either no longer produce the male sex hormone testosterone or produce it in very low amounts.”

However, testosterone treatments have also been marketed for low sex drive, fatigue, and anti-aging benefits.

“Companies sometimes market their products outside of the intended use, which sacrifices consumer safety in the long-run,” commented Megan McBride, a product liability lawyer with the Levin, Papantonio law firm.

In addition to the cardiac risks, testosterone treatments have been associated with several other serious health risks, including enlarged prostate gland, and potential prostate cancer risks; blood clots in the leg as well as leg pain and high blood pressure; sleep apnea; and increased cholesterol levels in the body. Reduced sperm count and prolonged erections have also been associated to the use of testosterone treatments.

Krysta is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @KrystaLoera.