Testosterone therapy is primarily assigned to men without a diagnosis of hypogonadism. However, this therapy may increase the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) through elevated hematocrit levels. This study aims to investigate the risk of VTE associated with short-term testosterone therapy exposure.
In this case-crossover study, a total of 39,622 men undergoing testosterone therapy were included. Men were defined in the case period (0-6 months before VTE) and control period and were matched with equivalent control periods. The primary outcome of the study was the first VTE event stratified by the presence or absence of hypogonadism.
Out of 39,622 men enrolled in the study, 3,110 men (7.8%) had hypogonadism. After adjusting for age, the findings suggested that testosterone therapy in all use periods was associated with an increased risk of VTE in men with (OR 2.32) or without (OR 2.02) hypogonadism. In men without hypogonadism, the risk of VTE associated with testosterone therapy in a 3-month case period was higher among men younger than 65 years (OR 2.99), as compared to older men (OR 1.68).
The research concluded that testosterone therapy was linked with an increased risk of VTE in men with or without hypogonadism, with the risk being more profound in younger men.