A University of Sydney nutrition study is looking for people aged 65 and over who live in the community and have lost weight recently, for a study on whether undernourished elderly people would benefit from testosterone and nutritional supplements.
“We are calling for men and women aged over 65 from across Sydney who have lost weight or are at risk of inadequate nutrition,” said Associate Professor Vasi Naganathan, who is leading the research in Sydney together with Ian Cameron, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, both from the university’s Faculty of Medicine.
Professor Naganathan confirmed the study is seeking older people who live in the community – not in residential care – with a body mass index of less than 22, or who have lost more than three kilograms in the last three months. Men with prostate cancer are excluded.
The current trial is based on preliminary findings from an earlier study that showed a dose of oral testosterone and a nutritional supplement reduced the number and duration of hospital admissions of malnourished older people.
“Our trial will test these findings, which were unexpected but look promising,” Professor Naganathan said.
The nutritional supplement (of protein, fat and carbohydrate) together with the testosterone also appeared to improve general health.
“Older people living at home are at risk of being undernourished as they often become less active, experience reduced appetite and do not eat regular meals, he added.
“The study will form part of a wider long-term research study focusing on which therapies are most beneficial to the everyday quality of life and functioning of older people while avoiding the risks of overmedication.”
The research project is being run over three years in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney with $1 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Professor Naganthan works out of the Centre of Education and Research on Ageing located at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, in the inner west of Sydney.
People interested in participating should contact the research nurse on (02) 9767 5965 or 9767 8356.