Does testosterone influence the association between sleep and frailty in men: results from the European Male Aging Study

Seema D Sharma, Michael J Cook, Leen Antonio, Evelien Gielen, Gyorgy Bartfai, Felipe F Casanueva, Ilpo T Huhtaniemi, Mario Maggi, Margus Punab, Giulia Rastrelli, Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jos Tournoy, Dirk Vanderschueren, Frederick C Wu, Terence W O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested an association between sleep disturbance and frailty. The mechanism is unknown, although it has been suggested that hormonal factors may play a role.

METHODS: The aim was to determine the association between sleep duration, sleep quality and frailty, and to determine whether testosterone influenced this association. Males aged 40-79 years were recruited from eight European centres to the European Male Aging Study (EMAS). Subjects completed an interviewer-assisted questionnaire including questions regarding sleep quality and duration. Sleep quality was scored 0-20 and categorised as 0-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-20, with higher scores indicating poorer quality. A 39-component frailty index (FI) was constructed. Total testosterone levels were measured. The association between sleep duration, sleep quality and the FI was assessed using negative binomial regression, with adjustment for putative confounders including testosterone level.

RESULTS: Two thousand three hundred ninety-three participants contributed data to the analysis. The mean age was 63.3 years and mean sleep duration was 7.01 h. The mean frailty index was 0.15. Mean testosterone levels declined with decreasing sleep quality. After adjustment, compared to those with a sleep score of 0-4, the FI was 57% (95% CI 38%, 78%) higher among those with a sleep score of 15-20. After adjustment compared to those with normal sleep duration (6-9 h), those with a short (< 6 h) and long (≥ 9 h) sleep duration had a 16% (95% CI 6%, 28%) and 11% (95% CI 0%, 23%) higher FI, respectively. Adjustment for testosterone did not influence the strength of either association.

CONCLUSION: Frailty is associated with impaired sleep quality and sleep duration. The association cannot, however, be explained by variation in testosterone levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Frailty/diagnosis
  • Frail Elderly
  • Testosterone
  • Aging
  • Sleep

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