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Greater muscle mass may increase risk of hot flashes: Study

ANI | Updated: Nov 10, 2021 17:47 IST

Washington [US], November 10 (ANI): A new study has suggested that hot flashes are less common in women with sarcopenia and are positively associated with paraspinal muscle mass.
The findings of the study were published in the journal 'Menopause'.
The loss of muscle mass is a natural part of ageing. Older women with sarcopenia (age-related loss of muscle mass and function) are at an increased risk of reduced mobility, diminished quality of life, heart disease, and fall-related injuries. However, according to a new study, they are less likely to experience hot flashes.
The loss of muscle mass and function may be the most dramatic and significant change that occurs during the ageing process. Postmenopausal women are at a particularly increased risk of sarcopenia as a result of ageing and sex hormone changes after menopause.
Other risk factors for sarcopenia that often develop with age include a sedentary lifestyle, reduced protein intake, changes in growth hormone levels, and increased inflammation.
However, unlike the known relationship between sarcopenia and menopause, the association between sarcopenia and various menopause symptoms is somewhat unknown.
Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes) are one of the most common and troublesome menopause symptoms. Hot flashes are associated with several chronic disorders, including obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

With regard to obesity, previous hot flash studies have focused on the relationship between body mass index and waist circumference. However, these measures are limited because they do not reflect the exact body composition, such as the percentage of adipose tissue versus muscle tissue.
In this new study involving nearly 300 Korean women aged 40 to 65 years, researchers specifically investigated the association between menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, and body composition indices measured by abdominal computed tomography and the prevalence of sarcopenia.
On the basis of the results of this first-of-its-kind study, researchers concluded that hot flashes are less common in women with sarcopenia than in those without and are positively associated with paraspinal muscle mass.
Further longitudinal studies should be considered to further define the relationships between hot flashes, skeletal muscle indices, fat and muscle distribution, and sarcopenia, as well as the potential underlying mechanisms.
"These results highlight the need for additional longitudinal studies to better define the associations of menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, with body composition and, specifically, with obesity and sarcopenia. This is particularly important given the ageing population and the links between sarcopenia in older women and decreased mobility, increased risk of falls and reduced healthspan, and quality of life," said Dr Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organisation dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy ageing.
Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field--including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education--makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy ageing. (ANI)