Journal Article

The Effect of Menopause on Grip and Pinch Strength: Results from the Chicago, Illinois, Site of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation

Lianne M. Kurina, Martha Gulati, Susan A. Everson-Rose, Paul J. Chung, Kelly Karavolos, Nicole J. Cohen, Namratha Kandula, Renata Lukezic, Sheila A. Dugan, MaryFran Sowers, Lynda H. Powell and Kate E. Pickett

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 5, pages 484-491
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwh244
The Effect of Menopause on Grip and Pinch Strength: Results from the Chicago, Illinois, Site of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation

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Women may experience a decline in physical function during menopause. Whether this decline is due to aging or to changes in hormonal status is unknown. The authors performed a longitudinal data analysis on data collected between 1996 and 2001 to determine the effects of menopausal status, age, race, and use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on 3-year changes in grip and pinch strength. Participants were 563 women from the Chicago, Illinois, site of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. According to adjusted analyses, women who became postmenopausal showed a 1.04-kg decline in grip strength (p = 0.10) and a 0.57-kg decline in pinch strength (p = 0.002) relative to women who remained premenopausal. Women who became early perimenopausal showed a 0.20-kg decline in pinch strength (p = 0.04), whereas women who transitioned to late perimenopause showed a 0.93-kg decline in grip strength (p = 0.07). Effects of menopausal status on grip and pinch strength did not vary by race. A significant HRT-by-race interaction for grip strength was found; African-American HRT users had greater grip strength during the study, whereas Caucasian HRT users did not (p = 0.05). Greater physical activity was the strongest predictor of grip and pinch strength (p < 0.0001). Results indicate that transition through menopause is associated with a decline in grip and pinch strength.

Keywords: African Americans; aging; European continental ancestry group; exercise; hand strength; hormone replacement therapy; menopause; women’s health; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; HRT; hormone replacement therapy; SWAN, Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.

Journal Article.  5651 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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