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Exercise program benefits health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women

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February 16, 2017

In postmenopausal women, a supervised, multicomponent exercise program combined with health education is effective for increasing health-related quality of life and reducing weight and BMI, according to findings published in Menopause.

Nicolás Mendoza Ladrón de Guevara, PhD, of the department of gynecology and obstetrics, School of Medicine, University of Granada in Spain, and colleagues evaluated data from 234 postmenopausal women to determine the immediate- and long-term changes in health-related quality of life and cardiometabolic and fitness outcomes after adherence to regular exercise. Participants who had at least 12 months of sedentary behavior before the study were randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 80) or sedentary control group (n = 86), and participants who were active on a regular basis were assigned to the active group (n = 68).

The intervention was a 20-week multicomponent, supervised adapted regular exercise program. Participants were evaluated at baseline, immediately after intervention and at 3- and 12-month follow-ups.

The Cervantes scale was used to measure health-related quality of life and included four domains: menopause and health (including vasomotor symptoms, general health status, and aging and health subscales), mental well-being, sexuality and intimate relationships.

From baseline to postintervention, the intervention group experienced improvement in the overall global score compared with the other two groups (P < .001), particularly in the mental well-being and menopause and health domains.

Compared with the sedentary control group, the intervention group had better health-related quality of life in all measurements after the intervention. At the postintervention and 3- and 12-month follow-ups, the intervention group and active group were comparable for all measures except for general health status, with the intervention group showing less impairment.

At baseline, the intervention group and sedentary control group were comparable for cardiometabolic and fitness parameters; the active group scored higher for these parameters at baseline. Weight, BMI and flexibility were all improved after the intervention.

“Combining a supervised, multicomponent, adapted exercise program with health education and health promotion enhanced [health-related quality of life] of postmenopausal women in terms of physical, psychosocial and menopause-related well-being,” the researchers wrote. “Moreover, sustained regular exercise offered several cardiometabolic and fitness benefits, mainly flexibility.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.