Free testosterone levels are associated with mobility limitation and physical performance in community-dwelling men: the Framingham Offspring Study.


Journal Article

Mobility limitation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The relationship between circulating testosterone and mobility limitation and physical performance is incompletely understood.Our objective was to examine cross-sectional and prospective relations between baseline sex hormones and mobility limitations and physical performance in community-dwelling older men.We conducted cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of 1445 men (mean age 61.0 +/- 9.5 yr) who attended Framingham Offspring Study examinations 7 and 8 (mean 6.6 yr apart). Total testosterone (TT) was measured by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry at examination 7. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of mobility limitation and physical performance were performed with continuous (per SD) and dichotomized [low TT and free testosterone (FT) and high SHBG vs. normal] hormone levels.Self-reported mobility limitation, subjective health, usual walking speed, and grip strength were assessed at examinations 7 and 8. Short physical performance battery was performed at examination 7.Higher continuous FT was positively associated with short physical performance battery score (beta = 0.13; P = 0.008), usual walking speed (beta = 0.02; P = 0.048), and lower risk of poor subjective health [odds ratio (OR) = 0.72; P = 0.01]. In prospective analysis, 1 SD increase in baseline FT was associated with lower risk of developing mobility limitation (OR = 0.78; 95% confidence interval = 0.62-0.97) and progression of mobility limitation (OR = 0.75; 95% confidence interval = 0.60-0.93). Men with low baseline FT had 57% higher odds of reporting incident mobility limitation (P = 0.03) and 68% higher odds of worsening of mobility limitation (P = 0.007).Lower levels of baseline FT are associated with a greater risk of incident or worsening mobility limitation in community-dwelling older men. Whether this risk can be reduced with testosterone therapy needs to be determined by randomized trials.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Krasnoff, JB; Basaria, S; Pencina, MJ; Jasuja, GK; Vasan, RS; Ulloor, J; Zhang, A; Coviello, A; Kelly-Hayes, M; D'Agostino, RB; Wolf, PA; Bhasin, S; Murabito, JM

Published Date

  • June 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 2790 - 2799

PubMed ID

  • 20382680

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20382680

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1945-7197

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-972X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1210/jc.2009-2680


  • eng