, 37:5 | Cite as

Effects of testosterone on lean mass gain in elderly men: systematic review with meta-analysis of controlled and randomized studies

  • Walter Krause Neto
  • Eliane Florencio Gama
  • Leandro Yanase Rocha
  • Carla Cristina Ramos
  • Wagner Taets
  • Katia Bilhar Scapini
  • Janaina B. Ferreira
  • Bruno Rodrigues
  • Érico CaperutoEmail author


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of steroid anabolic androgenic hormones use on lean mass gain in elderly men through a systematic review with a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. We systematically searched PubMed database until 4th October 2013. We included randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCT) that studied testosterone replacement therapy in men over 60 years of age, with total testosterone levels ≤550 ng/dl, observing gains in weight, lean mass tissue and fat mass as outcome. We excluded duplicated studies, studies which mixed men and women, and studies using weak androgens such as dehydroepiandrosterone or androstenedione. The initial search yielded 2681 articles, of which 26 were selected for full text analysis. In the end, 11 studies were included. However, 3 studies were not included in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis showed that mean weight increased (lean mass), ranging from 1.65 (95 % CI, 1.61–1.69) to 6.20 (95 % CI, 5.22–7.18) kg, although it was heterogeneous (I 2 = 98 %). Effect estimate was 3.59 [2.38–4.81]. Androgen therapy decreased fat mass; effect estimate was −1.78 [−2.57, −0.99] that analysis had also a high level of heterogeneity (I 2 = 81 %). The results suggest that testosterone replacement therapy is able to increase muscle mass in elderly men and that is affected by the time that the treatment is carried out and the method of administration of the drug.


Androgen therapy Testosterone Fat free mass Elderly men 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Krause Neto
    • 1
  • Eliane Florencio Gama
    • 1
  • Leandro Yanase Rocha
    • 2
  • Carla Cristina Ramos
    • 2
  • Wagner Taets
    • 2
  • Katia Bilhar Scapini
    • 3
  • Janaina B. Ferreira
    • 3
  • Bruno Rodrigues
    • 2
  • Érico Caperuto
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Morphoquantitative Studies and Immunohistochemistry, Department of Physical EducationSão Judas Tadeu UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Human Movement, Department of Physical EducationSão Judas Tadeu UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.LaboratoryINCORSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratory of Exercise and Movement SciencesMackenzie Presbiterian UniversitySão PauloBrazil

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