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.
The fatality brings the total death count to 84 in Egypt since the virus first appeared in 2006.
Precision medicine has been propelled by advances in two areas in particular: cancer and pharmacogenomics, the study of how DNA interacts with drug
The bacterial disease is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas.
Ebola has been "a mega crisis and it overwhelmed the capacity of WHO".
Pauline Cafferkey was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital after falling ill on her return from Sierra Leone, where she had been working for the charity Save the Children
"Both for malaria and AIDS we're seeing that the tools that will let us do 95 to 100 percent reduction, those tools will be invented during this 15-year period", said Gates.
A five-year-old boy died from the virus in the southern Assiut province
"The probability of global catastrophe is very high," says advocacy group
Nigeria H5N1 bird flu now in 7 states, suspected in 140,000 birds
Using video feedback-based therapy to help parents understand and respond to their baby's early communication style might help modify emerging autism symptoms
The unprecedented outbreak has so far killed more than 8,400 people, overwhelmingly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Obama launched a new precision medicine initiative to bring closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes
Britain has one of the highest persistent tuberculosis (TB) rates in western Europe
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and biggest economy, was the continent's first country to detect bird flu in 2006
The data showed that the 10 warmest years since records began in the 19th century had occurred since 1997