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Effects of transdermal testosterone on bone and muscle in older men with low bioavailable testosterone levels, low bone mass, and physical frailty.

Author(s): Kenny AM, Kleppinger A, Annis K, Rathier M, Browner B, Judge JO, McGee D

Affiliation(s): Center on Aging, MC-5215, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA. kenny@uchc.edu

Publication date & source: 2010-06, J Am Geriatr Soc., 58(6):1134-43.

Publication type: Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of testosterone supplementation on bone, body composition, muscle, physical function, and safety in older men. DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. SETTING: A major medical institution. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-one men (mean age 77.1 +/- 7.6) with low testosterone, history of fracture, or bone mineral density (BMD) T-score less than -2.0 and frailty. INTERVENTION: Participants received 5 mg/d of testosterone or placebo for 12 to 24 months; all received calcium (1500 mg/d diet and supplement) and cholecalciferol (1,000 IU/d). MEASUREMENTS: BMD of hip, lumbar spine, and mid-radius; body composition; sex hormones, calcium-regulating hormones; bone turnover markers; strength; physical performance; and safety parameters. RESULTS: Ninety-nine men (75.6%) completed 12 months, and 62 (47.3%) completed end therapy (mean 23 months; range 16-24 months for 62 who completed therapy). Study adherence was 54%, with 40% of subjects maintaining 70% or greater adherence. Testosterone and bioavailable testosterone levels at 12 months were 583 ng/dL and 157 ng/dL, respectively, in the treatment group. BMD on testosterone increased 1.4% at the femoral neck and 3.2% at the lumbar spine (P=.005) and decreased 1.3% at the mid-radius (P<.001). There was an increase in lean mass and a decrease in fat mass in the testosterone group but no differences in strength or physical performance. There were no differences in safety parameters. CONCLUSION: Older, frail men receiving testosterone replacement increased testosterone levels and had favorable changes in body composition, modest changes in axial BMD, and no substantial changes in physical function.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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