World Bulletin / News Desk
As women go through menopause, they may see a decline in their ability to carry out routine tasks such as climbing stairs and carrying heavy things, according to a U.S. study.
Exactly why is not clear, though extra weight and depression symptoms seemed to account for some of the link, said researchers whose findings were published in the journal Menopause.
"There is definitely a connection between menopause and the physical limitations women perceive themselves as having," said lead researcher Lisa Tseng, a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh.
Tseng said her findings suggest that the physiological changes of menopause play a role. A woman's body composition tends to change with an increase in fat and decrease in muscle mass. With a decline in estrogen, bone mass dips as well.
Men also lose muscle mass and strength as they age, but studies have found that reductions in the strength of women strength seems to speed up around menopause.
The study surveyed more than 2,200 US women in their 40s and 50s. Overall, three-quarters of postmenopausal women had at least moderate physical limitations, whether in the ability to exercise or to accomplish routine tasks.
In contrast, only 10 percent of premenopausal women said the same thing.
Even when Tseng's team factored in age, weight and health conditions like arthritis, depression and diabetes, menopause itself was still linked to a three-fold increase in the odds of physical limitations.
According to Timothy Church, a researcher at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, both men and women lose muscle mass - typically at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year - after age 50. At the same time, studies show, they become less active.
No one is sure whether the muscle loss or the inactivity typically comes first, but studies show that when postmenopausal women - and older men - get regular exercise, their physical health and mental well-being often improve.
Church and his colleagues have found in their own research that even when women are overweight and sedentary, starting an exercise routine can improve their fitness levels, blood vessel function and sleep quality.
He recommended that women take up both aerobic exercise and some type of weight training. Aerobic exercise can be as simple as walking for 30 minutes most days of the week.
"When we can get these people active, it amazes me how it's not only their physical health that improves. Their quality of life improves," Church said.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said 12 cases of Zika had been detected across the Philippines this month, including a 22-year-old woman from the central island of Cebu who is 19 weeks' pregnant with her first child.
When Rufino Borrego was 13, he was diagnosed by a Lisbon hospital as having incurable muscular dystrophy, the Jornal de Noticias reported.
Facebook CEO, wife to begin $3 billion initiative by building new research center
In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency confirmed 16 new cases, four of which were not linked to existing cluster areas.
A report by the The Climate Institute suggests that coffee could become extinct by 2080 if serious changes aren't made
The US and China - together responsible for 40% of the world's carbon emissions - have now both ratified the Paris global climate agreement.
Government says antibacterial soaps no better than plain soaps, could affect human health
Indonesia joins countries issuing travel advisory for Singapore, where number of viral infection cases have risen to 82
When dealing with ADHD, learning disorders and autism, how many of us focus on the connection between our gut flora, what we eat, and our mental state?
In an interview Hollywood actor Jean Claude Van Damme has stated that he favoured Arabic food and that the diet followed by the Prophet Muhammad was one that was best for the human body
El Nino has devastated Mozambique's Gorongosa park with political tensions threatening the park
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on skin for a few minutes to create suction, the therapy itself dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Earth has hit a record high with an overall globel temperature the highest ever on record
The National Institute of Health may fund research into mixed embryos to better understand human diseases and develop therapies to treat them.
Travel across multiple time zones disrupts circadian rhythms resulting in jet lag
After five years the radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean are close to normal levels after a nuclear meltdown in the city