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15 May 2017

Effects of Testosterone Therapy for 3 Years on Muscle Performance and Physical Function in Older Men

Effects of Testosterone Therapy for 3 Years on Muscle Performance and Physical Function in Older Men

Declining testosterone levels – which is commonly seen in men as they get older - are associated with reduced lean body mass, muscle strength, physical function and performance. Evidence for a causal-effect relationship between testosterone levels and lean body (muscle) mass comes from several studies which have shown that testosterone treatment consistently increases lean body mass (which is a proxy measure for muscle mass).

Here we summarize the results of the long-term TEAAM (Testosterone’s Effects on Atherosclerosis Progression in Aging Men) study, which also investigated effects of testosterone treatment on muscle performance, physical function, and lean body mass.

Key Points

  • The TEAAM study enrolled men aged 60 years or older with low-normal testosterone levels, 3.5 - 13.9 nmol/L (100 and 400 g/dL) or free testosterone level less than 174 pmol/L (50 pg/mL).
  • Testosterone treatment for 3 years increased lean body mass, muscle strength and power, despite absence of exercise.
  • Men in the placebo group showed a decline in lean body mass, muscle strength and power, suggesting that long-term testosterone treatment not only prevents the age-related loss in muscle function, but actually improves muscle function.
  • Treatment effects tended to wane over time in parallel with the dropping testosterone levels. This underscores the importance of long-term adherence to testosterone treatment in order to realize benefits.

Last updated: 2019
G.MKT.GM.MH.02.2018.0506