Endocrine determinants of successful aging in the male
Frailty is characterized by generalized weakness, impaired mobility and balance, and poor endurance. Loss of muscle strength is an important factor in the process of frailty, and is the limiting factor for an individual's chances of living an independent life until death. In men, several hormonal systems show a decline in activity during aging. Serum bioavailable testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulphate (DHEAS), and growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I concentrations all decrease during aging in men. Physical changes during aging have been considered physiological, but there is evidence that some of these changes are related to this decline in hormonal activity. Studies on hormone administration in the elderly appear to be promising. However, until now, hormone replacement is not yet proven to beneficial and safe.