Link between low testosterone and frailty in elderly men
08 March 2012
This review discussed the relationship between low testosterone level and frailty in elderly men and evaluated the evidence which shows that testosterone therapy improves the physical functioning and quality of life of elderly frail men with confirmed low testosterone levels.
Frailty in aging men is the vulnerable state of being weak in health or body. Frailty can be a sign of approaching onset of disability, and many parts of the body can be affected, including the nervous system, metabolism (chemical functioning of the body), joints, bones and muscles. With the onset of frailty there is likely to be an ongoing decline in physical condition and body composition, including lowered reserves, weight loss, diminished activity and mobility, sensitivity to change and deterioration in nutritional status, mental processes and endurance.
Frail older adults are at greater risk of becoming ill or dying than non-frail individuals of the same age group. As testosterone has a profound effect on body composition and is a key hormone necessary for maintaining bone mineral density, testosterone therapy may have a particular role to play in frail older men with confirmed low testosterone levels.
This review demonstrated that, although frailty is a complex condition, there is evidence to show that testosterone therapy benefits frail elderly men with low testosterone by improving body composition, bone strength, physical functioning and cardiovascular health.