Loss of Appendicular Muscle Mass and Loss of Muscle Strength in Young Postmenopausal Women

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Abstract

Background.  Different factors may predict loss of appendicular muscle mass (LossAMM) and loss of muscle strength (LossMS). We investigated the relationship between LossAMM or LossMS and baseline anthropometric measures, lifestyle habits, hormones, lipid profiles, and inflammatory markers in 49 healthy postmenopausal women (54.1 ± 4.3 years) in a 24–36-month prospective study.

Methods.  We measured parameters of lifestyle habits, anthropometry, lipid profiles, and blood levels of testosterone, estrone, estradiol, cortisol, dihydroepiandrostenedione, luteinizing hormone, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D, thyroxine, leptin, adiponectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin-6 and interleukin-2 receptors. Percentage of loss per year of isometric knee extensor strength defined LossMS, and percentage of loss of AMM per year (dual x-ray absorptiometry) defined LossAMM.

Results.  The means (standard deviation) for LossMS and LossAMM were 1.17%/y (2.03) and 0.60%/y (0.74) and did not correlate (r = −0.001; p =.99). LossMS correlated negatively with level of physical activity (r = −0.28), femoral BMD (r = −0.30), alcohol consumption (r = −0.30), and luteinizing hormone (r = −0.32) and positively with estrone (r = 0.29) and iPTH (r = 0.32) (each at p <.05). LossAMM correlated negatively with AMM (r = −0.41; p <.01). Stepwise regression analyses showed that LossMS was significantly predicted by baseline physical activity (beta = −0.39) with an explanation of variation of the model (R2) of 6%, body mass index (BMI) (−0.40; 3%), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (−0.29; 3%), estrone (0.32; 6%), iPTH (0.27; 7%), and interleukin-2 receptor (0.32; 5%). LossAMM was predicted by baseline height (0.56; 47%), body mass index (1.04; 83%), AMM (−0.92; 76%), thyroxine (−0.33; 8%), estrone (−0.61; 30%), and dihydroepiandrostenedione (0.44; 28%).

Conclusions.  LossMS and LossAMM in young postmenopausal women were not correlated with one another, and were determined by different factors.

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