jules levin, NATAP: testosterone & frailty in older men (0111)


wikipedia on the “five components of frailty” mentioned below: “Frailty is determined based on cutoffs in 5 components – Muscle weakness, weight loss, low physical activity, exhaustion, and slow walking speed.”



These observations suggest that there may be an association between frailty and low sex hormone levels in older men. The only cross-sectional report that 

“Men with low baseline bioavailable testosterone levels had an increased likelihood of worse frailty status at follow-up, but adjustment for confounding factors reduced the strength of that association. The association between total testosterone and baseline frailty status was of borderline significance; no association between total testosterone and frailty status at visit 2 was observed. Estradiol, bioavailable estradiol, and SHBG concentrations were not associated with frailty status at baseline or at the follow-up visit.”

“The biological mechanisms through which bioavailable testosterone may act on frailty status are not well elucidated. Testosterone may act to increase muscle size and strength [possibly through increased protein synthesis (31)], which could then influence each of the five components of frailty, most directly the shrinking and weakness components. Additionally, declining levels of testosterone may be associated with a proinflammatory state (32, 33), and a proinflammatory state has been associated with poor physical performance (34) and frailty (35). Further research into the biological underpinnings of the bioavailable testosterone and frailty relationship is needed.

In summary, lower bioavailable testosterone levels were associated with an increased likelihood of worse frailty status in cross-sectional analyses, independent of potentially confounding factors. In longitudinal analyses, lower bioavailable testosterone was modestly associated with increased likelihood of worsening frailty status at the follow-up visit; however, this association was mostly explained by adjustment for potential confounders. In contrast to the modest associations seen between bioavailable testosterone and frailty status at follow-up, frailty status at baseline is very strongly associated with frailty status at follow-up.”

%d bloggers like this: