Testosterone Levels Main Determining Factor Behind Fracture Risk in Older Men

Written by Dr. Jonathan Peterson, Updated on February 16th, 2024, Published on April 23rd, 2021

Reading Time: 4 minutes

An article published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism determined that there is a relationship between testosterone levels and fracture risk in older, Australian men.

The relationship was specifically a “U-shaped” relationship when looked at on a graph.

Men that had a midrange testosterone concentration in their bloodstream had the lowest risk of sustaining a fracture during a full decade of study follow-up.

Testosterone Levels Predict Incidence of Fractures in Older Men

Study author, Bu Beng Yeap, professor at the University of Western Australia Medical School, stated: “Levels of testosterone, rather than estradiol [estrogen], predict the incidence of fractures in older men.” That is incredible that we have predictive power in terms of ascertaining fracture risk.

Fractures can be devastating for older men and women. If an older adult suffers from a fracture, and especially a hip fracture, it’s more likely that complications will arise, versus if the same fracture happened in a younger adult.

Complications include death, severe pain, disability, depression, and loss of independence. There is a high risk of morbidity and mortality in older adults when suffering from a fracture. This is serious stuff, people!

Because the graph is U-shaped when fracture risk is plotted against testosterone levels, “men with low testosterone levels are at higher risk. Men with testosterone levels in the middle of the range have the lowest risk.”

Australian Cohort of Men Demonstrate the Importance of Healthy Testosterone Levels

For the study, 3,307 men from Perth, Western Australia were used as the subjects. The average age of the men was 77 years. Baseline levels of hormones were taken from the blood between 2001-2004.

The hormones analyzed were plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Researchers followed up after 10.6 years. 330 men sustained a fracture at a rate of 1.1% per participant per year. Hip fractures were sustained by 144 men with a rate of 0.5% per participant per year.

As stated previously, men that had testosterone levels in the midrange had the lowest risk for fracture incidence whereas low testosterone levels had the highest risk. In addition, men with SHBG levels in the higher range were more likely to sustain a hip fracture when compared to men with lower SHBG. Dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, and LH were not associated with any fracture risk.

Yeap also stated that “randomized clinical trials are needed to see whether treating men who have low testosterone levels would reduce their risk for fracture.” That would be a great study, for sure!

Maintaining Optimal Testosterone Levels is Critical

It is critical that, as men age, they take their testosterone levels seriously. If not, they are at increased risk of breaking a hip or fracturing some other important bone, potentially leading to serious complications and a lower quality of life. You didn’t work hard all your life to experience something as devastating as a fractured hip!

It’s so easy to get your testosterone levels checked. Just contact our clinic by telephone or filling out the contact form. We can get you set up with a blood center near you to get tested very quickly with fast analysis by our endocrinologists. If it turns out that your testosterone levels are too low or too high, outside of the optimal range, it is highly recommended to get this under control.

It’s more likely that a man’s testosterone levels will be lower as he ages because levels tend to decrease by 1% each year after the age of 30.

This is where testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) comes in. This therapy is highly effective and safe when used under the guidance of an endocrinologist, just like at our clinic. There is almost zero risk of an overdose or adverse side effects.

Contact us today to get your levels checked!

Hip Fracture Prevention Tips

Number one, take your risk seriously. If you are 50 or older, then you are already at higher risk. Get your testosterone levels checked as soon as possible. One in three women and one in five men will have a fracture at some point after 50 years of age.

Screen your bone health and maintain high bone density. Low bone density can double or triple your risk of a hip fracture. 56 percent of women and 18 percent of men aged 50 or older have reduced bone mineral density. Talk to your doctor about regular screening for osteoporosis, especially if you are female or a man who was on a long-term prednisone prescription.

Maintain strong muscles! Nine out of ten hip fractures are caused by falls. With strong muscles, you are less likely to fall. A regular exercise routine can cut your risk of a fall by 20-30 percent!

Eat a healthy diet that contains adequate calcium and vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium. The recommended daily value is 1,200 mg for women over 50 and men over 70 for calcium. In addition, make sure you consume lots of potassium-rich veggies and fruits because potassium also increases calcium metabolism.

Lastly, get your eyes and metabolism checked regularly. Having good vision will reduce your risk of tripping and falling. If you feel dizzy, weak, or off-balance when walking, tell your doctor and get a medicine check. Some medicines can cause such side effects.

Just follow the five tips above and contact our clinic to get your testosterone levels checked and you’re good to go!



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