Effect of anabolic hormones and insulin-like growth factor-I on muscle mass and strength in elderly persons

Clin Geriatr Med. 1995 Nov;11(4):735-48.


The secretion of growth hormone and testosterone declines with age. Because these hormones have prominent anabolic effects on skeletal muscle, part of the age-related decrease in muscle mass and strength have been attributed to declining levels of these hormones; however, growth hormone replacement in healthy elderly people has produced side effects but no functional benefit. In contrast, short-term growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 treatment have reduced protein loss and improved function during acute catabolic states. Although testosterone replacement has increased lean body mass and improved the sense of well being, functional benefit has not been clearly demonstrated, and the risks of long-term replacement have not been defined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Hormones / adverse effects
  • Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / therapeutic use
  • Muscle Weakness / drug therapy*
  • Muscle Weakness / metabolism
  • Muscle Weakness / prevention & control
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Hormones
  • Testosterone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone