Normalization of Testosterone Levels After Testosterone Replacement Therapy Is Associated With Decreased Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac dysrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Several small studies have reported that low serum total testosterone (TT) levels were associated with a higher incidence of AF. In contrast, it is also reported that anabolic steroid use is associated with an increase in the risk of AF. To date, no study has explored the effect of testosterone normalization on new incidence of AF after testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in patients with low testosterone.
Methods and Results Using data from the Veterans Administrations Corporate Data Warehouse, we identified a national cohort of 76 639 veterans with low TT levels and divided them into 3 groups. Group 1 had TRT resulting in normalization of TT levels (normalized TRT), group 2 had TRT without normalization of TT levels (nonnormalized TRT), and group 3 did not receive TRT (no TRT). Propensity score–weighted stabilized inverse probability of treatment weighting Cox proportional hazard methods were used for analysis of the data from these groups to determine the association between post‐TRT levels of TT and the incidence of AF. Group 1 (40 856 patients, median age 66 years) had significantly lower risk of AF than group 2 (23 939 patients, median age 65 years; hazard ratio 0.90, 95% CI 0.81–0.99, P=0.0255) and group 3 (11 853 patients, median age 67 years; hazard ratio 0.79, 95% CI 0.70–0.89, P=0.0001). There was no statistical difference between groups 2 and 3 (hazard ratio 0.89, 95% CI 0.78– 1.0009, P=0.0675) in incidence of AF.
Conclusions These novel results suggest that normalization of TT levels after TRT is associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of AF.