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Testosterone Levels Affect Men's Risk of Falling

Older men with the lowest levels have 40 percent higher risk than those with the highest levels

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with low testosterone levels have an increased risk of falling, according to study findings reported in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Between March 2000 and April 2002, Eric Orwoll, M.D., of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues assessed testosterone levels in 2,587 men aged 65 to 99 (average age 73) and followed them through March 2005.

The researchers found that men with testosterone levels in the lowest quartile had a 40 percent higher risk of falling than those in the highest quartile. They also found that low testosterone levels in younger men (aged 65 to 69) were strongly associated with falls (relative risk, 1.8), while testosterone levels were not associated with falls in the oldest men (aged 80 and older).

"These findings strengthen the link between testosterone and the health of older men, suggesting that the effects of testosterone on fall risk may be via novel mechanisms and provide insight into how testosterone measurements might be useful for identifying men at higher risk for adverse events," the authors conclude. "Moreover, these results provide additional justification for trials of testosterone supplementation in older men and should aid in the design of those studies."

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