A new article reviews the effects of age-related hormone decline on the aging process and age-related diseases such as sarcopenia and falls, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, mood disorders, cardiovascular health and sexual activity . Information on the efficiency and safety of hormone replacement protocols in aging patients is provided as well. Anti-aging therapies are a huge business world-wide, and this reflects a human desire to fight nature and prolong longevity. During the last 20 years, a multitude of anti-aging practices have appeared, aiming at retarding or even stopping and reversing the effects of aging on the human body. One of the cornerstones of anti-aging is hormone replacement. Women live one-third of their lives in a state of sex hormone deficiency, whereas men are also subject to age-related testosterone decline, but andropause remains frequently under-diagnosed and under-treated. Due to the decline of hormone production from the gonads in both sexes, the importance of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in steroid hormone production increases with age. However, DHEA levels also decrease with age. Also, the age-associated decrease in growth hormone may be so important that insulin growth factor-1 levels found in elderly individuals are sometimes as low as those encountered in adult patients with established deficiency. Skin aging, as well as decreases in lean body mass, bone mineral density, sexual desire and erectile function, intellectual activity and mood have all been related to this decrease of hormone production with age. Great disparities exist between recommendations from scientific societies and the actual use of hormone supplements in aging and elderly patients.
Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Samaras N, Papadopoulou MA, Samaras D, Ongaro F. Off-label use of hormones as an antiaging strategy: a review. Clin Interv Aging 2014;9:1175-86
Brüssow H. What is health? Microb Biotechnol 2013;6:341-8
Sun Q, Townsend MK, Okereke OI, et al. Adiposity and weight change in mid-life in relation to healthy survival after age 70 in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2009;339:b3796
Pines A. Telomere length and telomerase activity in the context of menopause. Climacteric 2013;16:629-31
Crous-Bou M, Fung TT, Prescott J, et al. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses Health Study: population based cohort study. BMJ 2014;349:g6674