Drinking excessive alcohol after an age of 50 can lead to sudded muscle loss in women, warns a new study.
Loss of muscles normally begins from the mid life with a progression rate of about 6% per year. By the time you turn 80, only three-quarters of midlife muscle mass remains in the body. This loss of muscle affects balance, gait and the ability to do daily tasks, the researchers said.
By 2030, the number of people in the world 60 or older is estimated to grow by 56 percent, and older people will number one in six individuals globally, according to the South Korean researchers.
Their study looked at nearly 2,400 postmenopausal women, average age 62. Of those, 8 percent had sarcopenia. Both aging and menopause can lead to loss of muscle mass and strength, a condition called sarcopenia.
High-risk drinking was defined as frequent and significant alcohol use, along with a lack of control over drinking, blackouts and injuries related to drinking. Women in the high-risk group were more likely to smoke and have higher blood pressure and total cholesterol. They were also significantly younger.
"With this study suggesting that more muscle loss leads to sarcopenia and other studies suggesting that even one drink of alcohol may increase the risk of breast cancer, postmenopausal women should limit their alcohol intake," said JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The study was published online June 7 in Menopause, a NAMS journal.