Relationship between low free testosterone levels and loss of muscle mass

Sci Rep. 2013;3:1818. doi: 10.1038/srep01818.


We assessed longitudinal relationships between baseline testosterone and muscle mass changes in Japanese men. Data were collected from community-dwelling 957 adult men who participated in a longitudinal study of ageing biennially from 1997-2010. Appendicular muscle mass (AMM) was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and follow-up examinations. The cut-off point of sarcopenia was defined as a skeletal muscle index (AMM/height(2)) < 6.87 kg/m(2). Total testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT) were measured with a radioimmunoassay. The calculated FT (cFT) was determined with a formula using albumin, TT, and sex hormone-binding globulin levels. We analyzed 4,187 or 2,010 cumulative data points using generalized estimating equations. Low TT was not associated with sarcopenia. Low cFT (odds ratio = 2.14, 95% confidence interval: 1.06-4.33) and FT (odds ratio = 1.83, 95% confidence interval: 1.04-3.22) were associated with sarcopenia. Low FT may be a predictor of risk for muscle loss in Japanese men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Organ Size
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcopenia / blood
  • Sarcopenia / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone