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.
WHO said that on many levels, the world is better prepared now than ever before for aflu pandemic
Myanmar health officals say an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Mandalay
Tokyo Electric said it has been aware since last spring that radiation levels in water running in one of the plant gutters rise when it rains
Safe drinking water is available at about one-third of the level it was before the conflict erupted nearly five years ago, and supplies are cut-off to punish civilians at times
Elephants in Angola, which suffered decades of civil war, have been observed avoiding heavily-mined areas, suggesting their trunks were warning them to stay away.
Favipiravir halved death rate among some to 15 pct, but WHO says more research required on drug
The first medicine containing stem cells to treat a rare condition caused by burns to the eye has approved.
940 parasite samplescollected at 55 malaria treatment centres across Myanmar and its border regions. They found that almost 40 percent of the samples had mutations in their so-called kelch gene, K13 -- a known genetic signal of artemisinin drug resistance.
Yaws is known to be prevalent in 12 countries in areas where people have little access to healthcare, mainly in West and Central Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
In the past few years, Nepal has seen the numbers of endangered species, such as the Royal Bengal tiger or the one-horned rhino, rise.
The investment would represent as little as 0.1 percent of current national health spending of the low and middle-income countries affected by NTD.
Nearly 1,000 abandoned California sea lions have washed ashore this year in what rehabilitation centers say is a growing crisis for the animals.
West Africa cases of Ebola show the first decrease in three weeks.
"Marijuana fools the brain's feeding system."scientist Tamas Horvath said.
The Department of Health (DOH) announced that a Filipina nurse who recently arrived in the country tested positive for the MERS Coronavirus.
North Korea, the world's most isolated country, is thousands of miles from the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and has reported no cases of the virus, which has killed more than 9,000 people.