Experts, Androgen Study Group Petition JAMA to Retract Testosterone Article

Three medical organizations and an international group of over 130 scientists and physicians have issued a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association requesting the retraction of an article which associated testosterone therapy with cardiovascular disease.

Associate Clinical Professor of Urology Abraham Morgentaler, MD, of Harvard Medical School, and chairman of the Androgen Study Group said, “To have several professional societies and so many of the most accomplished experts in the field unite in this action indicates the seriousness of the article’s errors, and the magnitude of damage this article has caused to the public’s perception of testosterone therapy.”

Since publication in November 2013, the article, titled “Association of Testosterone Therapy with Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, and Stroke in Men with Low Testosterone Levels,” has been corrected twice. Ten percent of the study participants were women, and an error rate of 89% relative to over 1,000 individuals was discovered when the data were reexamined.

Martin Miner, MD, associate clinical professor of Family Practice and Urology at Brown University, said, “Many of my patients stopped taking testosterone because of the JAMA article — even those who had experienced substantial benefits. And now we find out it was all based on nothing but sloppy science. We are talking about real consequences on individuals’ health and quality of life.”
The petition was written by the Androgen Study Group and signed by scientists and physicians in more than 24 countries.

“Lost in the media frenzy that followed this article’s publication is the fact that substantial evidence accumulated over 30 years has shown repeatedly that higher testosterone levels are associated with better cardiovascular outcomes. In the interests of medical science and the public good, JAMA should do the right thing and retract the article,” Morgentaler said.