Hormones and health outcomes in aging men

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    Increasing age is a predictor of ill-health and mortality related to cardiovascular disease and to frailty, a syndrome characterized by deterioration of multiple organ systems leading to loss of physiological reserve, diminished capacity to cope with stressors, and increased risk of disability and death. As men grow older, their levels of testosterone decline while the prevalence of ill-health increases. Observational studies have linked lower testosterone levels with cardiovascular disease and mortality in middle-aged and older men. More recently, lower testosterone has been shown to predict reduced sexual activity and frailty in aging men. Additional studies are needed to determine whether lower testosterone is a biomarker or a potentially treatable risk factor for poorer health outcomes in older men. During aging, the response of the pituitary–thyroid axis alters to manifest higher thyrotropin levels. The presences of subclinical hypo- and hyper-thyroidism predict adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Newer results indicate that in euthyroid older men, differences in free thyroxine levels within the normal range predict specific health outcomes including frailty. Clarification of the roles of endogenous testosterone and thyroxine in the genesis of ill-health during male aging offers the prospect of future intervention to preserve health and well-being in this growing population. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)677-681
    JournalExperimental Gerontology
    Issue number7
    Early online date1 Aug 2012
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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