Skeletal muscle mass and strength are critical in helping prevent falls, fractures, and disability. Yet, they continue to decline during the menopause transition. A new study showed that the prolonged use (defined as ≥13 mo) of hormone therapy (HT) was associated with higher muscle mass and less chance of sarcopenia. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Sarcopenia is defined as a loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength that mostly affects older people. In addition to increasing the risk of falls and fractures, it can also increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although sarcopenia is highly prevalent in postmenopausal women, there is no definitive evidence supporting its link with the decline in estrogen during the menopause transition. Multiple small-scale studies have been conducted to assess the association between HT use and muscle mass, but their results have been inconsistent.
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