SAN DIEGO, CA The risk of osteoporosis (bone fracture) in women is highly recognized by the public. Less appreciated is the fact that the disorder also occurs in men. Some two million males have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and another three million are at risk.
Gender-based hormones and age are thought to be major factors behind bone fractures in both sexes. Women with low levels of estrogen and men with low levels of the testosterone are known to be at risk. Low levels of gender hormones can lead to diminished bone mineral density (BMD; also known as bone mass). Reduced bone density or bone mass means there is less cushioning to protect the bone from cracking in a slip or fall.
For this reason, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the standard of care used to improve bone strength and muscle mass in males. However, TRT use has been the subject of some controversy. Continuous testosterone use has been associated with prostate cancer and high red blood cell levels, and its other effects are not fully known.
In one of the first clinical trials involving men over 60-85 years of age, researchers preliminary results indicate that testosterone treatment for five months has a positive effect on the bone markers of older men. This is the first known study to report on the impact of bone metabolism based on dosing schedules.
Presentation at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society
The study was conducted by E. Lichar Dillon, Randall J. Urban, James A. Angel, Shanon L. Casperson and Melinda Sheffield-Moore, all of the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX; and Douglas Paddon-Jones of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy, the University of Texas Medical Branch. Their study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is entitled Continuous Testosterone Administration for Five Months Reduc
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American Physiological Society