Impairment of physical exercise capacity in healthy postmenopausal women.Am Heart J. 2006 Apr; 151(4):923-7.AH
Healthy postmenopausal women reveal a series of peripheral vascular abnormalities, whose possible consequences on exercise performance has not been yet elucidated.
We studied the response to strenuous exercise in 25 postmenopausal women (mean age 50 +/- 3 years) without cardiovascular risk factors or disease through an integrative cardiopulmonary test.
In comparison with 25 premenopausal subjects matched for age and biophysical characteristics, postmenopausal women showed a lower maximal workload (P < .01) and maximum VO2 (P < .01), an early anaerobic threshold (P < .05), and a lower ratio between increase of VO2 consumption and work rate (P < .01).
Our results suggest that menopause could represent an important concomitant cause in determining an impairment of exercise capacity. The set of cardiopulmonary abnormalities found in the present study seems to identify the peripheral circulation as the limiting system in postmenopausal women experiencing exercise intolerance. Finally, present findings are in favor of an early introduction of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy.