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Difficulties in measuring the effect of testosterone replacement therapy on muscle function in older men

International Journal of Andrology
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
  • Testosterone
  • Elderly Men
  • Muscle Function
  • Hypogonadal Men
  • Strength
  • Women
  • Power
  • Size
  • Medicine


Muscle wasting in older men may be related to androgen deficiency. We have assessed the effect of testosterone replacement therapy on muscle function in the upper and lower limbs of older (age >60 years) men with blood testosterone levels <14 nmol/L. Subjects (n = 7 per group) received testosterone enanthate 200 mg i.m. or placebo every 2 weeks in a double blind study over a 12-week period and underwent muscle testing every 4 weeks. A significant increase in blood levels of testosterone and a reduction in levels of ses hormone binding globulin occurred in the treatment group. Total body mass, haemoglobin and packed cell volume also increased significantly (p < 0.05). No improvements in handgrip strength, isometric strength of-knee flexors and extensors or leg extensor power were seen in either group. Wide variability in all measures of muscle function were observed in these elderly men suggesting that very large study groups would be required to determine potential treatment benefits on muscle function.

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