This study aimed to investigate whether parity is associated with the prevalence of low muscle mass in postmenopausal women.
This study was performed using data from the 2010-2011 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included 1,338 postmenopausal women aged 46 to 70 years. The association between parity and low muscle mass was analyzed after adjusting parity, multiparity, age, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, education level, and Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance and using weighted multiple logistic regression analysis. Modifiable risk factors were evaluated in a susceptible population. Low muscle mass was defined as an appendicular skeletal muscle mass index below 2 SDs with a cutoff value of 5.45 kg/m2.
The low muscle mass group (n = 343) had lower parity, lower body mass index, more frequent previous history of diabetes mellitus, higher Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance, and higher education level compared with the non–low muscle mass group (n = 995). After adjusting for the confounding factors, parity with three births or more was associated with a significantly lower odds of postmenopausal low muscle mass than nulliparity (model 1: odds ratio, 0.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.12-0.87; P = 0.03; model 2: odds ratio, 0.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.11-0.67; P < 0.05). In the subgroup analysis of the lower parity group, moderate aerobic activity was associated with a lower low muscle mass prevalence.
A lower parity is associated with increasing the odds of low muscle mass in postmenopausal Korean women. Moderate aerobic activity may be effective in lowering the odds of low muscle mass in postmenopausal women with lower parity.