Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 105, Issue 3, pp 285–293 | Cite as

Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate and Free Testosterone but not Estradiol are Related to Muscle Strength and Bone Microarchitecture in Older Adults

  • Sung Hye Kong
  • Jung Hee Kim
  • Ji Hyun Lee
  • A Ram Hong
  • Chan Soo Shin
  • Nam H. ChoEmail author
Original Research


The study aimed to elucidate the relationship between sex steroids and muscle mass, muscle strength, and trabecular bone score (TBS) in a community-dwelling aged population. We analyzed 922 men > 60 years of age and 1244 postmenopausal women. Weak muscle strength was defined as hand grip strength < 26 kg for men and < 18 kg for women, whereas degraded bone microarchitecture was defined as a TBS ≤ 1.2. The mean age was 70.2 ± 6.8 years for men and 71.2 ± 6.7 years for women. Participants within higher dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and free testosterone (FT) tertiles were likely to be younger, have greater muscle mass, and have stronger hand grip strength. Based on logistic regression models, men within the lowest FT tertile had weaker muscle strength compared to those in the highest tertile (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33–3.91). Women within the lowest DHEAS and FT tertile had weaker muscle strength compared to those in the highest tertile (adjusted OR for DHEAS 1.42; 95% CI 1.02–1.99; adjusted OR for FT 1.77, 95% CI 1.26–2.48). Moreover, men within the lowest FT tertile exhibited degraded bone microarchitecture compared to those in the highest tertile (adjusted OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.46–4.51). However, estradiol was not related to muscle strength or bone microarchitecture in both sexes. In conclusion, in aged men, serum FT was closely associated with muscle strength and bone microarchitecture and in postmenopausal women, serum DHEAS and FT were related to muscle strength.


Sex steroids Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate Testosterone Physical performance Bone microarchitecture 



The research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Hye Kong
    • 1
  • Jung Hee Kim
    • 1
  • Ji Hyun Lee
    • 2
  • A Ram Hong
    • 3
  • Chan Soo Shin
    • 1
  • Nam H. Cho
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineVeterans Health Service Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineChonnam National University Hwasun HospitalChonnamSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Preventive MedicineAjou University School of MedicineSuwonSouth Korea

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