ORLANDO, Fla. — In a longitudinal assessment of the transition to menopause, researchers found that patients reported greater limitations in their physical function.
“Physical functioning has been used to assist the overall impact of disease and environment. At this period of a woman’s life, women experience several changes like physiological, psychological and social due to the menopausal transition. Additionally, women tend to lose muscle strength and mass around the fifth decade of their lives,” Samar R. El Khoudary, PhD, MPH, from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, said during a presentation at the North American Menopause Society 23rd Annual Meeting.
Using 2,374 women aged 45 to 57 years from the Study of Women’s health Across the Nation (SWAN), researchers completed a physical function scale of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form (SF-36) at visits four, six, eight and 10 (score range: 0-100). These scores were used to create a physical function limitation variable, broken down into three categories: no limitation (86-100), moderate (51-85), and substantial (0-50).
Additionally, based on bleeding patterns, gynecological surgery and HT, six menopausal status categories were evaluated: pre-menopause, early peri-menopause, late peri-menopause, natural post-menopause, surgical post-menopause and HT users/unknown.
Endogenous estradiol (E2) was evaluated along with perception of physical function. The E2 models were adjusted for age at visit four, time since visit four, site, race, income, ability to pay for basics, BMI, physical activity, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis and depressive symptoms, El Khoudary said.
According to data, odds ratios measuring menopausal status compared with premenopausal patients found late peri-menopause (OR=1.60; 95% CI, 1.05-2.45), natural post-menopause (OR=1.62; 95% CI, 1.06-2.47), and surgical post-menopause (OR=1.88; 95% CI, 1.10-3.23) patients had statistically significant odds for having greater physical function limitations.
Furthermore, higher E2 levels at visit four (OR=0.88; 95% CI, 0.80-0.98) and a lesser reduction in E2 since the fourth visit (OR=0.88; 95% CI, 0.82-0.96) showed a significant relation to lower odds for reporting limitations in physical function, according to data.
After adjusting for age, race, body size, level of physical activity or existing comorbid conditions, researchers were unable to explain the association of self-reported physical function limitation in women at mid-life, she said.
“The results from the endogenous sex hormones suggest that the physical functioning limitations among surgical and postmenopausal women most likely resulted from changes in estrogen and testosterone over the menopausal transition,” El Khoudary said. – by Samantha Costa
For more information:
El Khoudary SR. #S-5. Presented at: the North American Menopause Society 23rd Annual Meeting; October 3-6, 2012; Orlando, Fla.
Disclosures: El Khoudary has no relevant financial disclosures.