Does Testosterone Increase Heart Rate? (Facts You Must Know)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 19, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

While many people legitimately need medical intervention to deal with testosterone deficiency syndrome, there are probably even more athletes who abuse testosterone injections.

There are several health risks with excessively high free testosterone, and I spent a few hours with a doctor friend to look at the scientific evidence for heart problems such as chronically increased heart rate.

We reviewed clinical trial evidence as well as medical textbooks to see exactly how androgenic steroids affect the body.

Let’s see if there’s an increased risk of heart issues.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone does not increase heart rate in either males or females.
  • Supplements and taking a diet are the safest ways of boosting your testosterone levels in the body.
  • In a study of male veterans by the American College of Cardiology, those with normal testosterone levels showed lower all-cause mortality and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke compared to men with low testosterone levels.
  • In my view, the key to managing testosterone levels effectively lies in a holistic approach combining diet, exercise, and medical guidance.

Does Testosterone Increase Heart Rate?

A man holding his right chest

No, testosterone doesn’t increase heart rate in men or women.

However, during my consultations with health experts, I learned that testosterone significantly influences cardiovascular cell behavior, affecting how heart muscles contract and relax.

Part of the confusion around this topic comes down to the fact that testosterone has been linked to improvements in heart rate variability (HRV) by the Polish Archives of Internal Medicine [1].

And the fact that scientists have shown that lower HRV can result in an increased risk of heart attack according to the Journal of the American Heart Association [2].

They have even speculated that HRV might predict serious cardiac events and heart disease.

Confusion also stems from an unproven theory suggesting testosterone differences cause men to have heart attacks a decade earlier than women, a claim not supported by reliable evidence from Harvard Medical School [3].

What this means is that a male taking testosterone medication in a controlled and monitored way should see improvements in their heart health. 

And it all comes down to only taking testosterone medication under the advice and monitoring of a doctor.

Monitoring the Impact on Your Cardiovascular Health

Man experiencing chest pain

As a certified personal trainer, I've seen clients develop high blood pressure as a side effect of testosterone therapy, which aligns with the risks outlined by The Men's Health Clinic UK [4].

This highlights the importance of monitoring blood pressure and other health indicators like HRV and changes in skin and hair growth.

Additionally, testosterone's role in metabolic syndrome and diabetes is significant, with low levels increasing associated risks, underscoring the difference between natural T-count increase and rapid spikes from oral or injectable testosterone.

It’s also important to note that this kind of medical intervention can cause the body to form blood clots, but this is more common with long-term testosterone abuse according to studies published by JAMA Internal Medicine [5].

No matter what your situation is, if you find your BP or heart rate is increasing, then seek medical attention immediately. It could mean the difference between experiencing a serious health issue and boosting your overall health.

Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Bad for The Heart?

No, testosterone replacement therapy isn’t bad for the heart.

In fact, several studies including the Pharmacy Times, have shown that having healthy levels of testosterone helps prevent coronary artery disease and reduces risk factors associated with heart attack and stroke [6].

Moreover, testosterone replacement therapy has been observed to improve exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure, indicating its potential benefits in cardiac rehabilitation.

From my experience, unsupervised steroid hormone use poses significant risks, a concern I emphasize in consultations and advocate for professional guidance, especially from reputable TRT clinics.

Unmonitored testosterone intake often leads to severe organ issues, underscoring the need for safer alternatives in managing T-levels.

“Increasingly, testosterone replacement therapy is prescribed to treat general symptoms of aging, including fatigue and slight declines in sexual functioning.”

- Robert Preidt at WebMD.com

FAQs

Will Testosterone Raise Blood Pressure?

Yes, high levels of testosterone may raise blood pressure. This is something that doctors carefully monitor during hormone therapy. And it’s a major risk factor for people who self-prescribe.

Can Testosterone Therapy Cause Heart Failure?

No, testosterone therapy hasn’t been associated with heart failure. If anything, maintaining healthy T-levels could reduce the risk of a heart attack. It’s one of the key reasons to regularly check your T-count.

Can Testosterone Injections Affect Your Heart?

Testosterone injections can affect the heart, as they are a form of testosterone therapy. People with heart conditions who took testosterone injections had improved their exercise capacity and symptoms. However, there is not yet enough evidence to prove these claims.

Does Finasteride Reduce Testosterone?

Finasteride does not reduce testosterone levels because it works by decreasing serum DHT (androgen that plays an essential role in forming male characteristics) concentrations, thus increasing circulating levels of testosterone.

What Is the Connection Between Hypothyroidism and Low Testosterone?

The connection between hypothyroidism and low testosterone is direct, and thyroid dysfunction affects levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and free testosterone, both of which can contribute to symptoms of low testosterone.


References:

  1. https://www.mp.pl/paim/issue/article/1887/
  2. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.014540
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/testosterone-and-the-heart
  4. https://themenshealthclinic.co.uk/trt-blood-pressure/
  5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2754091
  6. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/study-testosterone-supplementation-reduces-heart-attack-stroke-risk
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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