A new study by Finnish researchers suggests that postmenopausal women with fibromyalgia seem to have less physical strength and endurance than healthy women, so they might benefit from an appropriate training program.
Some research in premenopausal women has found lower-than-normal muscle strength and aerobic capacity, the researchers add, but fitness has not been investigated in postmenopausal women with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia, which is characterized by pain, fatigue and difficulty sleeping, is most common in women after menopause, Heli Valkeinen of the University of Jyvaskyla and her colleagues note in a report in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, but most studies have focused on women 50 and younger.
To determine whether women with fibromyalgia might experience a steeper decline in physical fitness after menopause than their healthy peers, the researchers looked at 23 women with the condition and a comparison group of 11 similar but fibromyalgia-free women.
There was no difference between fibromyalgia patients and healthy women in upper body strength, but the women with fibromyalgia did have less muscle strength in their legs.
Upon exercise testing, the women in the fibromyalgia group reached exhaustion at a lower maximal heart rate, but oxygen uptake was the same in both groups.
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