22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Postmenopausal women are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to changes in lipid profile and body fat, among others. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of urinary tartaric acid, a biomarker of wine consumption, with anthropometric (weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-height ratio), blood pressure, and biochemical variables (blood glucose and lipid profile) that may be affected during the menopausal transition.

This sub-study of the PREDIMED (Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea) trial included a sample of 230 women aged 60-80 years with high cardiovascular risk at baseline. Urine samples were diluted and filtered, and tartaric acid was analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS).

Correlations between tartaric acid and the study variables were adjusted for age, education level, smoking status, physical activity, BMI, cholesterol-lowering, antihypertensive, and insulin treatment, total energy intake, and consumption of fruits, vegetables, and raisins.

A strong association was observed between wine consumption and urinary tartaric acid (0.01 mug/mg (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01, 0.01), p-value < 0.001). Total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were inversely correlated with urinary tartaric acid (-3.13 mug/mg (-5.54, -0.71), p-value = 0.016 and -3.03 mug/mg (-5.62, -0.42), p-value = 0.027, respectively), whereas other biochemical and anthropometric variables were unrelated. The results suggest that wine consumption may have a positive effect on cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women, underpinning its nutraceutical properties.

24 March 2021 In Phenolic compounds

Ageing and menopause contribute to endothelial dysfunction, causing impaired cerebral perfusion, which is in turn associated with accelerated cognitive decline. In a 14-week pilot study, we showed that supplementation with low-dose resveratrol, a phytoestrogen that can enhance endothelial function, improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions in postmenopausal women.

We sought to confirm these benefits in a larger, longer-term trial. A 24-month randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial was undertaken in 125 postmenopausal women, aged 45-85 years, who took 75 mg trans-resveratrol or placebo twice-daily for 12 months and then crossover to the alternative treatment for another 12 months. We evaluated within individual differences between each treatment period in measures of cognition (primary outcome), cerebrovascular function in the middle cerebral artery (cerebral blood flow velocity: CBFV, cerebrovascular responsiveness: CVR) and cardio-metabolic markers as secondary outcomes.

Subgroup analyses examined effects of resveratrol by life stages. Compared to placebo, resveratrol supplementation resulted a significant 33% improvement in overall cognitive performance (Cohen's d = 0.170, P = 0.005). Women >/=65 years of age showed a relative improvement in verbal memory with resveratrol compared to those younger than 65 years. Furthermore, resveratrol improved secondary outcomes including resting mean CBFV (d = 0.275, P = 0.001), CVR to hypercapnia (d = 0.307, P = 0.027), CVR to cognitive stimuli (d = 0.259, P = 0.032), fasting insulin (d = 0.174, P = 0.025) and insulin resistance index (d = 0.102, P = 0.034).

Regular supplementation with low-dose resveratrol can enhance cognition, cerebrovascular function and insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women. This may translate into a slowing of the accelerated cognitive decline due to ageing and menopause, especially in late-life women. Further studies are warranted to observe whether these cognitive benefits of resveratrol can reduce the risk of dementia.

25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest that excessive alcohol use is increasing among women and older adults. Such trends are concerning, as women are more vulnerable to alcohol-related health consequences, and such health problems may be exacerbated with age. Furthermore, there are sex-specific factors that may influence alcohol consumption among women, including the hormonal changes associated with the menopausal transition and negative affect. The present study sought to investigate transitions in excessive drinking among women across the menopausal transition and included exploration of sex hormones (estradiol; testosterone) and depression.

METHODS: The present study utilized publicly available data from the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN) and included 3302 women (42-52 years old at baseline), who completed 10 years of annual assessments. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria were used as guidance when defining excessive drinking within the present dataset. At year 1, 170 women were identified as drinking excessively. Random-effect logistic regressions were used to examine transitions in excessive drinking.

RESULTS: Women identified as excessive drinkers were more likely to transition to non-excessive drinking across all menopausal transition stages (ORs range = 3.71-5.11), while women were more likely to transition from non-excessive to excessive drinking during the early peri- and postmenopausal stages (OR = 1.52 and 1.98, respectively). Higher testosterone levels were associated with a decreased likelihood of transitioning to non-excessive drinking (OR = 0.59). Depression and estradiol levels were not related to transitions in drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that the menopausal transition marks a period of instability in alcohol use among women. Further research is warranted to understand factors related to transitioning in and out of excessive drinking.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest that excessive alcohol use is increasing among women and older adults. Such trends are concerning, as women are more vulnerable to alcohol-related health consequences, and such health problems may be exacerbated with age. Furthermore, there are sex-specific factors that may influence alcohol consumption among women, including the hormonal changes associated with the menopausal transition and negative affect. The present study sought to investigate transitions in excessive drinking among women across the menopausal transition and included exploration of sex hormones (estradiol; testosterone) and depression.

METHODS: The present study utilized publicly available data from the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN) and included 3302 women (42-52 years old at baseline), who completed 10 years of annual assessments. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria were used as guidance when defining excessive drinking within the present dataset. At year 1, 170 women were identified as drinking excessively. Random-effect logistic regressions were used to examine transitions in excessive drinking.

RESULTS: Women identified as excessive drinkers were more likely to transition to non-excessive drinking across all menopausal transition stages (ORs range = 3.71-5.11), while women were more likely to transition from non-excessive to excessive drinking during the early peri- and postmenopausal stages (OR = 1.52 and 1.98, respectively). Higher testosterone levels were associated with a decreased likelihood of transitioning to non-excessive drinking (OR = 0.59). Depression and estradiol levels were not related to transitions in drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that the menopausal transition marks a period of instability in alcohol use among women. Further research is warranted to understand factors related to transitioning in and out of excessive drinking.

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