New Mercy Health Research Shows that Patients with Blood Clotting Disorders Risk Heart Attack and Stroke in Addition to Dangerous Blood Clots if They Take Testosterone

(CINCINNATI; June 18, 2014) – Mercy Health, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces the latest research from Mercy Health Physician Charles J. Glueck, MD, which the medical journal Metabolism published this month.

Dr. Glueck, a leading researcher in the areas of metabolism and endocrinology, has found that men and women with undiagnosed blood clotting disorders risk suffering heart attacks and strokes in addition to developing dangerous and potentially lethal blood clots if they start testosterone therapy (T therapy).

Men and women are increasingly undergoing T therapy to increase their energy, revive their libido and replace hormones, despite recent evidence of an increased risk for blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

In previously published research, Dr. Glueck and his team found that men and women with a previously undiagnosed tendency for increased blood clots developed dangerous blood clots three to four months after starting T therapy. These clots have led to a number of serious health crises, including loss of vision, hip replacements and pulmonary emboli with shortness of breath and pain in the lungs. Patients on anti-clotting medication who continued on T therapy developed more clots.

In this new research study, Dr. Glueck and his colleagues found that the interval between starting testosterone and developing blood clots or experiencing heart attack or stroke were the same - about three months. This strongly suggests that the risk factors for clots, heart attacks and strokes are similar in patients with these blood-clotting conditions.

“Checking for underlying and previously undiagnosed thrombophilias, or blood clotting disorders, before starting T therapy might help patients avoid dangerous blood clots, heart attacks and stroke,” said Dr. Glueck. “This is important for any man or woman considering using testosterone to know before embarking on a course of T therapy.”

Dr. Glueck continues to urge doctors who plan to start their patients on T therapy to do the following two things to lessen the risk of their patients developing potentially lethal blood clots or having a heart attack or stroke:

1. Before starting T therapy, determine if the patient has previously undiagnosed major blood clotting abnormalities, each one of which separately is present in about five percent of men and women: Factor V Leiden and Prothrombin gene mutations, high Factors VIII and XI.

2. Discontinue the use of T therapy in men and women with these blood clotting disorders, even if they subsequently take anticoagulants. Even on an anticoagulant, these patients remain at unacceptably high risk of developing blood clots or having a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Charles J. Glueck and his colleague statistician Ping Wang, PhD, both of the Mercy Health - Cholesterol Center conducted the study. The medical journal Metabolism published Dr. Glueck’s new findings in the June 2014 issue.

Dr. Glueck leads and practices from Mercy Health – Cholesterol Center, located at 2135 Dana Ave., Suite 430 in Cincinnati, ZIP 45207. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Glueck, please call 513-924-8250.

To find a Mercy Health physician in your neighborhood, or to learn about the services provided at Mercy Health, please visit e-mercy.com/physicians.asp or call 513-981-2222.