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J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Feb;21(1):232-9.

Long-term four-year exercise has a positive effect on menopausal risk factors: the Erlangen Fitness Osteoporosis Prevention Study.

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Institute of Medical Physics, University of Erlangen-N├╝rnberg, Germany.


The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of long-term exercise on coronary heart disease, osteoporotic risk factors, and physical fitness parameters in postmenopausal women. Forty early postmenopausal women (age 55.1 +/- 3.3 years) with no medication or illness affecting bone metabolism exercised (high impact aerobic, multilateral jumps, multi-set resistance exercise) for 50 months (EG), while 28 women (age 55.5 +/- 3.0 years) served as a nontraining control (CG). Both groups were supplemented with calcium and cholecalciferol. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at the lumbar spine, hip, and forearm by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Blood lipids were determined using serum samples, and body composition was determined using the bioimpedance technique. Further, maximum isometric strength was determined (Schnell M3, Schnell Trainer). The BMD at the lumbar spine (+1.0%, p = 0.037) and the total hip (-0.3%, p = 0.194) were maintained in the EG, while significant (p < 0.001) decreases were observed in the CG (lumbar spine -3.2; total hip -2.3%). Differences between both groups were significant (p < 0.001). Significant differences between EG and CG were also observed, respectively, for total cholesterol (-6.1 vs. +3.5%, p = 0.008), HDL-cholesterol (+14.1 vs. -7.1%, p = 0.007), triglycerides (-10.2 vs. +27.5%, p = 0.002), body fat (-3.3 vs. +1.3%, p = 0.041), and waist-hip-ratio (-3.5 vs. +0.2%, p > 0.001). Maximum isometric strength significantly (p < 0.001) increased in the EG, while strength parameters decreased in the CG (-0.5 to -6.4%). Thus, the study demonstrated that multipurpose high-intensity exercise programs significantly affect relevant menopausal risk factors and, therefore, may be individually considered as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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