Muscle strength and quality are associated with severity of menopausal symptoms in peri- and post-menopausal women

  • Jee-Yon Lee
    Department of Family Medicine, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, 250 Seongsanno, Seodaemun-gu 120-752, Republic of Korea
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  • Duk-Chul Lee
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +82 2 2228 2330; fax: +82 2 362 2473.
    Department of Family Medicine, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, 250 Seongsanno, Seodaemun-gu 120-752, Republic of Korea
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      Menopausal symptoms are common and affect the quality of life of menopausal women. Menopausal symptoms are associated with age-related conditions. Sarcopenia, loss of muscle mass and/or function, is also associated with several age-related conditions, suggesting that the severity of menopausal symptoms may be associated with sarcopenia. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between Kupperman index scores, a measure of menopausal symptom severity, and muscle strength and quality in peri- and post-menopausal women.

      Study design

      Cross-sectional study.

      Main outcome measures

      A total of 148 women participated. Biomarkers of metabolic risk factors were assessed along with muscle mass as measured with Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry. Handgrip strength was measured with isometric dynamometry. Muscle quality was calculated as the ratio of strength to muscle mass in upper extremities.


      Kupperman index scores correlated with the depression scale, handgrip strength, and specific force after adjusting for age and body mass index. Mean handgrip strength and specific force decreased gradually according to menopausal symptom severity. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the fourth handgrip strength and specific force quartiles were associated with the prevalence of severe menopausal symptoms with adjusted odds ratios of 0.14 (95% confidence interval 0.03–0.68) and 0.09 (95% confidence interval 0.03–0.47), respectively.


      Lower handgrip strength was associated with severe menopausal symptoms. Although we could not determine causality, muscle strength and quality during menopause may be related to the severity of menopausal symptoms. Further interventional and experimental studies are required to understand the clinical and pathophysiological significance of our findings.


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