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Age Ageing. 2009 Jul;38(4):401-6. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afp015. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

The association between dehydroepiandosterone and frailty in older men and women.

Author information

1
University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

to evaluate the association between dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA) and physical frailty in older adults.

DESIGN:

cross-sectional analysis of baseline information from three separate studies in healthy older men, women and residents of assisted living.

SETTING:

academic health centre in greater Hartford, CT, USA.

PARTICIPANTS:

eight hundred and ninety-eight adults residing in the community or assisted living facility.

MEASUREMENTS:

participants had measurement of frailty (weight loss, grip strength, sense of exhaustion, walking speed and physical activity) and serum DHEAS levels.

RESULTS:

overall, 6% of the individuals in the study were classified as frail, 58% intermediate frail and 35% were not frail. In the bivariate analysis, there were differences between categories of frailty across age, gender and by DHEAS levels. In an ordinal logistic regression model, with frailty as a dependent measure, we found that age, DHEAS and interactions of age and BMI and DHEAS and BMI were predictive of more frailty characteristics.

CONCLUSION:

we found an association between frailty and DHEAS levels. Whether the association is due to similar conditions resulting in lower DHEA levels and more susceptibility to frailty or whether lower DHEA levels have an impact on increasing frailty cannot be addressed by cross-sectional analysis. Gender did not impact the association between DHEAS and frailty, but obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m(2)) attenuated the association between higher DHEA levels and lower frailty status.

PMID:
19276095
PMCID:
PMC2720687
DOI:
10.1093/ageing/afp015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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