Older people with low testosterone are at higher risk of falls
The low amount of testosterone in older men may be linked to marked muscle loss, says a study by Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, USA. According to the researchers, men lose muscles more sharply than women when they reach old age and, therefore, are at greater risk for falls, since the muscular system is also responsible for maintaining body balance. To conduct the study, the scientists used data from 1100 men aged 65 and over during the four and a half year period. They observed that as men advanced, men who had the lowest levels of testosterone were those who had greater muscle loss, suffered more falls, and had more difficulty locomotion.
The survey also showed that the elderly who started taking hormonal supplementation, indicated by a doctor, had an increase in muscle volume and reported having less difficulty in locomotion. According to the study's authors, even if the decrease in hormone production varies according to the body of each individual, the constant visit to the doctor from the age of 65 - to indicate or not the use of hormonal supplements - is essential to decrease the number of falls in older men.
Falls in the elderly
Another study, conducted by the Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology (IOT), Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, USP (FMUSP), concluded that the more an old man is afraid of falling, the greater the chances of the fall. The results of the research were obtained from tests done with 38 elderly people aged over 60 years. Three tests were performed, which aimed to relate spatial reasoning and perception to motor responses. In them, the elderly had to perform different tasks.
Correlations between the reasoning tasks and the so-called Fall Risk Scale (ERQ) were tested. This indicator is what measures the fear of falling during daily activities, which consisted of sixteen questions, the response of the elderly varied from a score of one (I'm not worried) to four (I'm very worried). the two scales, the researchers came to the conclusion that the greater the concern of falling of the elderly, the smaller their score in the scale, therefore, the smaller their balance.
In order to reach the final results of the research, correlations between the time elders performed each task of reasoning (track test and star cancellation test) with the Berg Balance Scale (BSE), which measures the static and dynamic balance in activities such as reaching an object, turn the body, move to another location, stand and get up.
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