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El Camino Hospital In the News

Low T Business Is Booming, Despite Questions About Risks

Last Updated Apr 2014


Kaiser Health News --It is perhaps the biggest men's health craze since Rogaine or Viagra: so-called low testosterone clinics, which have rapidly grown in cities and suburbs all across the country. But these “low T” clinics have also drawn the ire of leading urologists and endocrinologists who question the clinics’ safety.

Testosterone prescriptions in the U.S. more than tripled in the last decade, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. But researchers suspect much of the testosterone dispensed at low T clinics isn’t tracked since it’s often bought with cash. This unfettered flow of testosterone—officially a controlled substance—has raised concerns among doctors who specialize in hormonal problems.

"In most doctor's offices, you don’t see a big shingle over their door saying, ‘Get your testosterone here!’” says Dr. Edward Karpman, a board certified urologist and the medical director of the Men’s Health Center at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, Calif. Karpman says low T clinics aren’t in the business of treating the complex medical problems that often masquerade as low energy and decreased sex drive. Those can include sleep apnea, depression and, perhaps most importantly, heart disease.

"Any man who presents, especially in his 40s and 50s, with new onset erectile dysfunction is at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and even heart attack or myocardial infarction," says Karpman.

Read the article on The Washington Post website.