Testosterone Ups Exercise Capacity in Heart Failure

Meta-analysis indicates benefit for patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Testosterone supplementation is associated with improved exercise capacity in patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure, according to a meta-analysis published online April 17 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

To assess the effects of testosterone supplementation on exercise capacity, Mustafa Toma, M.D., of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of the literature based on four randomized trials involving 198 patients (84 percent men; average age 67 years) with moderate-to-severe heart failure.

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, testosterone therapy was associated with a significant improvement in exercise capacity, including mean increases in the six-minute walk test (54.0 m), incremental shuttle walk test (46.7 m), and peak maximal oxygen consumption (2.70 mL/kg/min). There were no significant adverse cardiovascular events reported.

"Testosterone is a promising therapy to improve exercise capacity in heart failure patients," the authors write. "Adequately powered randomized controlled trials are now required to assess the benefits of testosterone in this high-risk population assessing quality of life, clinical events, and safety."

Two of the authors disclosed receiving funding from Alberta Innovates -- Health Solutions.

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