Sex-Specific Effects of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on Bone Mineral Density and Body Composition

A Pooled Analysis of Four Clinical Trials

Catherine M. Jankowski; Pamela Wolfe; Sarah J. Schmiege; K. Sreekumaran Nair; Sundeep Khosla; Michael Jensen; Denise von Muhlen; Gail A. Laughlin; Donna Kritz-Silverstein; Jaclyn Bergstrom; Richele Bettencourt; Edward P. Weiss; Dennis T. Villareal and Wendy M. Kohrt


Clin Endocrinol. 2019;90(2):293-300. 

In This Article


The beneficial effects of DHEA therapy on lumbar spine and hip BMD were specific to older women. It is possible that DHEA therapy could be a strategy to attenuate the decline in BMD in postmenopausal women who do not tolerate other treatments. The beneficial effects of DHEA replacement on body composition are to modestly increase FFM in women and decrease FM in older men, a reversal of the usual age-related trends in muscle and fat mass. Studies are needed to evaluate the effects of long-term DHEA therapy on the musculoskeletal health of older adults, and to characterize the safety profile of this prohormone.