, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 170-177
Date: 25 Jul 2013

Understanding the physiological and functional consequences of menopause: The PROSALMEN study

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Abstract

Background and aims: Women live longer and are more often affected by disability and poor health than men. The mechanism underlying this sex-related “mortality-morbidity” paradox is still unclear but it has been suggested that the physiological and functional changes occurring during the menopausal transition play an important role. The aim of PROSALMEN (PROgetto SALute MENopausa: Health in Menopause Project) is to study in great detail how these changes affect the integrity and function of the physiologic subsystems that are relevant to the maintenance of an active and healthy life-style during the aging process. Methods: PROSALMEN is a cross-sectional comparison of age-matched pre- and post-menopausal women. Thirty post-m enopausal women, aged 48–58 years, were enrolled in the study together with 30 age-matched pre-menopausal controls. A number of clinical, biological and functional parameters were collected assessing the integrity and level of function of the physiological subsystems that are important for mobility. Furthermore, we collected information on risk factors, medical conditions and symptoms that frequently develop or become clinically evident after menopause, including the most important elements of the classical post-m enopausal syndrome. Conclusions: This rich dataset will be used to start dissecting the causal pathway leading from menopause to damages in the musculoskeletal system and, in turn, to reduced physical function. The final goal is to understand how and to what extent changes in health behavior and pharmacological treatments in addition to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may counteract these processes.