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Age at menopause is negatively associated with frailty: A systematic review and meta-analysis

      Highlights

      • Menopause and related changes may be associated with frailty.
      • Later age at menopause is associated with decreased risk of prevalent frailty.
      • Hormonal changes after menopause may be related to this association.

      Abstract

      Menopause and related changes may be associated with frailty and contribute to higher frailty risk. This systematic review of the literature on the association between menopause and frailty combines the findings from studies of community-dwelling women. PubMed was systematically searched in March 2021 with a time frame from 2000 to March 2021 without language restriction. Potentially eligible studies were those that provided cross-sectional or prospective observational data on associations between menopause and frailty in community-dwelling women. Reference lists of relevant articles and the included studies were reviewed for additional studies. The same effect sizes were combined using a meta-analysis using the generic inverse variance method. From 131 studies identified, cross-sectional data on age at menopause from 3 studies and longitudinal data on surgical menopause from 2 studies were used for meta-analysis. Each one-year increase in age at menopause was significantly associated with a 2 % decreased risk of prevalent frailty (pooled odds ratio = 0.98, 95%CI (confidence interval) = 0.96–0.99, p < 0.001). Surgical menopause did not predict incident frailty (pooled OR = 1.02, 95%CI = 0.82–1.28, p = 0.23). This systematic review and meta-analysis showed that later age at menopause was significantly associated with a lower risk of prevalent frailty. In a clinical setting, age at menopause can be useful information to help clinicians to evaluate and stratify frailty risk in postmenopausal women. Hormonal changes after menopause may be related to the link between age at menopause and frailty and thus warrant further investigation.

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