Objective: To investigate whether body composition, functional status and serum hormone levels are associated with quality of life in healthy postmenopausal women. Design: A cross-sectional study among 402 women aged 56-73 years, 8-30 years postmenopausal. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the questionnaire on life satisfaction (QLS), with two modules directed at general factors (QLS-general) and health factors (QLS-health). Muscle strength was measured using dynamometry. Functional ability was estimated by physical performance (PPS), physical activity during the preceding year, and impairment in activities of daily living (ADL). Bone mineral density, lean mass and fat mass were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Fasting levels of serum oestradiol, oestrone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), testosterone, cortisol, androstenedione, DHEA and DHEAS, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), its binding proteins (IGFBP-1 and -3) and insulin, were determined. Results: Both QLS modules did not decrease with age. The major positive predictor of QLS-general module was the presence of a partner. Higher physical performance and higher educational level of participants' partners were significantly related to higher QLS-general, while smoking and presence of co-morbidities were significantly associated with a lower QLS-general. The determinants studied were mostly related to the QLS-health module, the major negative predictor of QLS-health being the presence of co-morbidities, followed by physical activity, physical performance and grip strength. Higher educational level of participants was related with higher QLS-health module, while higher BMI, fat mass and presence of disability were associated with significantly lower QLS-health. No consistent relation was found between serum levels of hormones measured and both QLS modules. Conclusions: The most important and specific determinant for psychological well-being was having a partner. Physical and psychological well-being are further strongly associated in this population of healthy postmenopausal women below 75 years of age, while increasing fat mass was related to decreased well-being. Our results suggest that in elderly and late postmenopausal women hormonal factors do not predict quality of life.

Body composition, Cross-sectional study, Disability, Endogenous hormones, Muscle strength, Physical function, Quality of life
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2006.01.008, hdl.handle.net/1765/61670
Department of Internal Medicine

Lebrun, C.E.I, van der Schouw, Y.T, de Jong, F.H, Pols, H.A.P, Grobbee, D.E, & Lamberts, S.W.J. (2006). Relations between body composition, functional and hormonal parameters and quality of life in healthy postmenopausal women. Maturitas, 55(1), 82–92. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2006.01.008