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Australian researchers report that older men with low levels of testosterone or other sex hormones have twice the chance of having a physical decline over time of two years than their peers who have higher levels of hormones.

Benjumin Hsu, University of Sydney (Australia) and colleagues analyzed data on 1,318 men over the age of 70 years old, enrolled in the Concord Project for Health and Aging (CHAMP), which was made a assessment of the health status when they joined the study, in the period 2005-2007, and two years later.

As a measure for the ability to be independent, people have reported their ability to perform activities of daily living such as walking, eating, dressing and personal hygiene. Through the analysis of the blood were measured the levels of hormones including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Was also evaluated their muscle strength: grip strength and the strength of their quadriceps muscles.

The researchers found that the lower the level of testosterone or an estrogen, the greater the possibility that men have a functional decline within two years, with a significant decrease in muscle strength.


In a separate study, Thomas W. Storer, of Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues evaluated the role of testosterone replacement therapy to improve aerobic function - the maximum oxygen uptake and gas exchange threshold lactate. The researchers analyzed data from subjects in a randomized larger in men over the age of 65 years with low testosterone levels and difficulty performing normal physical activities of daily living. For 6 months, 28 men in one group received 10 milligrams of testosterone gel in men and 36 in a second group received a placebo gel.

All subjects completed an exercise test to measure their peak aerobic fitness before and after 6 months. The men who received testosterone showed a slight improvement in aerobic fitness, while those treated with placebo showed a slight decline. This small increase in aerobic capacity in the group that received testosterone has eliminated the physiological decline that men generally experience with natural aging.  

The authors of the study conclude that: "Testosterone therapy in the elderly has been associated with improved VO2 peak and an attenuated age-related decline."  

Source: Worldhealth 

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