Nonandrogenic anabolic hormones predict risk of frailty: European male ageing study prospective data

Agnieszka Swiecicka, Mark Lunt, Tomás Ahern, Terence W. O'Neill, György Bartfai, Felipe Casanueva, Gianni Forti, Aleksander Giwercman, Thang S Han, Michael E J Lean, Neil Pendleton, Margus Punab, Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer, Dirk Vanderschueren, Ilpo T. Huhtaniemi, Frederick C W Wu, Martin K. Rutter, EMAS Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Low levels of nonandrogenic anabolic hormones have been linked with frailty, but evidence is conflicting and prospective data are largely lacking. Objective: To determine associations between nonandrogenic anabolic hormones and prospective changes in frailty status. Design/Setting: A 4.3-year prospective observational study of community-dwelling men participating in the European Male Ageing Study. Participants: Men (n = 3369) aged 40 to 79 years from eight European centers. Main Outcome Measures: Frailty status was determined using frailty phenotype (FP; n = 2114) and frailty index (FI; n = 2444). Analysis: Regression models assessed relationships between baseline levels of insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1), its binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), and parathyroid hormone (PTH), with changes in frailty status (worsening or improving frailty). Results: The risk of worsening FP and FI decreased with 1 standard deviation higher IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and 25OHD in models adjusted for age, body mass index, center, and baseline frailty [IGF-1: odds ratio (OR) for worsening FP, 0.82 (0.73, 0.93), percentage change in FI, -3.7% (-6.0, -1.5); IGFBP-3: 0.84 (0.75, 0.95), -4.2% (-6.4, -2.0); 25OHD: 0.84 (0.75, 0.95); -4.4%, (-6.7, -2.0)]. Relationships between IGF-1 and FI were attenuated after adjusting for IGFBP-3. Higher DHEA-S was associated with a lower risk of worsening FP only in men >70 years old [OR, 0.57 (0.35, 0.92)]. PTH was unrelated to change in frailty status. Conclusions: These longitudinal data confirm the associations between nonandrogenic anabolic hormones and the changes in frailty status. Interventional studies are needed to establish causality and determine therapeutic implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2798-2806
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine


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