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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348489

Research Project: Sarcopenia, Nutrition, and Physical Activity

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Oxandrolone augmentation of resistance training in older women: a randomized trial

item Mavros, Yorgi - University Of Sydney
item O'neill, Evelyn - Hebrew Senior Life
item Connerty, Maureen - Hebrew Senior Life
item Bean, Jonathan - Harvard Medical School
item Broe, Kerry - Hebrew Senior Life
item Kiel, Douglas - Harvard Medical School
item Maclean, David - Takeda Pharmaceutical
item Taylor, Ann - Novartis Institutes
item Fielding, Roger - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Fiatarone-singh, Maria - University Of Sydney

Submitted to: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2015
Publication Date: 11/11/2015
Citation: Mavros, Y., O'Neill, E., Connerty, M., Bean, J.F., Broe, K., Kiel, D.P., Maclean, D., Taylor, A., Fielding, R., Fiatarone-Singh, M.A. 2015. Oxandrolone augmentation of resistance training in older women: a randomized trial. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Interpretive Summary: This study examined the combined effects of resistance exercise (weight lifting) training in combination with an anabolic steroid hormone (oxandrolone) in older women with mobility limitations. Oxandrolone plus exercise training demonstrated similar increases in muscle mass and strength compared to exercise training alone. However, there was a significantly greater increase in lean body mass (not muscle mass) and decrease in fat mass with combined treatment compared to weight lifting alone. Still, these results suggest that androgen therapy in older women does not potentiate the positive effects of resistance exercise training.

Technical Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Sarcopenia is disproportionately present in older women with disability, and optimum treatment is not clear. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine whether oxandrolone administration in elderly women improves body composition or physical function beyond that which occurs in response to progressive resistance training (PRT). METHODS: Twenty-nine sedentary women (age 74.9 +/- 6.8 yr; 5.9 +/- 2.8 medications per day) were randomized to receive high-intensity PRT (three times a week for 12 wk) combined with either oxandrolone (10 mgd^-1) or an identical placebo. Peak strength was assessed for leg press, chest press, triceps, knee extension, and knee flexion. Power was assessed for leg press and chest press. Physical function measures included static and dynamic balance, chair rise, stair climb, gait speed, and 6-min walk test. Body composition was assessed using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. RESULTS: Oxandrolone treatment augmented increases in lean tissue for the whole body (2.6 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0-4.2 kg; P = 0.003), arms (0.3 kg; 95% CI, 0.1-0.5 kg; P = 0.001), legs (0.8 kg; 95% CI, 0.1-1.4 kg; P = 0.018), and trunk (1.4 kg; 95% CI, 0.4-2.3 kg; P = 0.004). Oxandrolone also augmented loss of fat tissue of the whole body (-1 kg; 95% CI, -1.6 to -0.4; P = 0.002), arms (-0.2 kg; 95% CI, -0.5 to -0.02 kg; P = 0.032), legs (-0.4 kg; 95% CI, -0.6 to -0.1; P = 0.009), and tended to reduce trunk fat (-0.4 kg; 95% CI, -0.9 to 0.04; P = 0.07). Improvements in muscle strength and power, chair stand, and dynamic balance were all significant over time (P < 0.05) but not different between groups (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Oxandrolone improves body composition adaptations to PRT in older women over 12 wk without augmenting muscle function or functional performance beyond that of PRT alone