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The Association Between Hormone Therapy and Sarcopenia in Postmenopausal Women

The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2008-2011

Sung-Woo Kim, MD; Rebecca Kim, MD

Menopause. 2020;27(5):506-511. 


Objective: Menopausal transition contributes to sarcopenia, but the effects of hormone therapy (HT) on sarcopenia in postmenopausal women have not been determined. This study assessed the effect of HT on sarcopenia in postmenopausal women.

Methods: The present study included 4,254 postmenopausal women who participated in the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys from 2008 to 2011. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by weight (ASM/Wt) and the prevalence of sarcopenia were analyzed in groups of women stratified by duration of HT use.

Results: ASM/Wt was higher and the prevalence of sarcopenia was lower in participants with a history of prolonged (≥13 mo) HT use than in participants with a shorter duration of HT use or no HT use. After adjusting for multiple confounding factors, prolonged use of HT remained significantly associated with estimated mean ASM/Wt and the prevalence of sarcopenia (odds ratio: 0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.41–0.88; P = 0.01). In addition, the prevalence of sarcopenia was linearly associated with history of hypertension, duration of hypertension, physical activity, and duration of HT use. Subgroup analysis showed that the association between duration of HT use and the prevalence of sarcopenia was maintained in younger (<65 y old) and leaner (body mass index <25 kg/m2) postmenopausal women.

Conclusions: The present study showed that the prolonged use of HT was associated with high muscle mass and a low prevalence of sarcopenia in postmenopausal women.