This February 21, 2017 JAMA Internal Medicine article concludes that testosterone improves bone density and bone strength in men with low testosterone. Although they couldnt determine if there was lower fracture risk, the investigators found that the treatment of older men with low testosterone increased volumetric trabecular bone mineral density of the lumbar spine. They also found that there was a significant improvement in estimated bone strength compared with placebo.
This multicenter study looked at men over age 65 years. Previous studies were felt to be contradictory or inconclusive. Mortality in the year after hip fracture is extremely high ranging from 14-58%.
This study is further evidence of the benefits of testosterone therapy in the older men and particularly those with decreased bone density. If you are interested in learning more about the potential benefits of testosterone you can visit the Elan Medical website.
From the article introduction
As men age, they experience decreases in serum testosterone concentration.1,2 They also experience decreases in areal bone mineral density (aBMD),3– 5 volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD),6 and estimated strength6 and an increase in fractures.7 When men of any age develop severely low testosterone due to known disease, their BMD decreases8– 11 and fractures increase.12,13 In men who are frankly hypogonadal, testosterone treatment improves BMD,14– 16 trabecular architecture,17 and mechanical properties.18
Prior studies of the effect of testosterone treatment on bone in older men, however, have not been conclusive.19– 22 In 1 placebo-controlled study, testosterone treatment did not improve spine BMD overall, but in a regression model, lower serum testosterone predicted a significantly greater effect of testosterone treatment on spine BMD.19 Another study demonstrated a significant increase in spine and hip BMD in testosterone-treated men, but supraphysiologic doses of testosterone were used.21
We report here the results of the Bone Trial of the Testosterone Trials (T-Trials), a group of 7 coordinated trials of the effects of testosterone treatment of older men with low testosterone concentrations.23,24 The purpose of the Bone Trial was to determine whether testosterone treatment would improve vBMD and estimated bone strength.