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Higher Alcohol Consumption May Make Sarcopenia Worse

A recent study suggests that higher alcohol consumption may be associated with muscle loss that comes with age — also known as sarcopenia — in postmenopausal women.


Participants in the study included 2,373 postmenopausal women with a mean age of 62.4, 8.2% of whom had sarcopenia. The researchers placed the women into three groups based on how much alcohol they consumed, which was determined by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test questionnaire.


After examining the data, they found that the participants who fell in the high-risk, alcohol-drinking group were four times more likely to have sarcopenia than those in the low-risk group. High-risk was classified by self-reported quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption as well as perceived lack of control over drinking, blackouts, and injuries related to drinking. The women in that group were also more likely to be smokers, have worse blood pressure, and worse total cholesterol. They were also younger.


Researchers from Yonsei University College of Medicine in Korea led the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 5, 2017, in the journal Menopause.


Sarcopenia is muscle loss related to age. Previous studies suggest that exercise plus dietary supplements and HMB both may help combat sarcopenia.

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