Postmenopausal hormone therapy does not improve muscle mass

  • JAMA Netw Open

  • Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Hormone therapy (HT) in the menopausal period does not significantly improve muscle mass.

Why this matters

  • Muscle loss has been associated with menopause and declining estrogen levels.
  • Decline in age-related muscle mass is associated with increased risk for disability, functional impairments, longer hospital stays, and increased risk for mortality.

Key results

  • HT was not significantly associated with improved muscle mass compared with unexposed participants: HT users lost 0.06 kg less lean body mass vs unexposed controls (P=.26).

Study design

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis (12 randomized clinical trials, n=4474 in meta-analysis).
  • Studies were included if postmenopausal women received HT and lean body mass or fat-free mass was measured as an outcome.
  • Primary study outcome was the overall absolute change in lean body mass.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Limitations

  • Limitations related to limitations of original studies.