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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2009, Volume 3, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11684-009-0061-2

Effects of exercise therapy on bone mineral density in early postmenopausal women: a controlled trial

Department of Physical Education, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China;

Available online: 2009-09-05

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The purpose of this article is to determine the effect of a well-designed combined aerobic, resistance, and extension exercise program on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. The population comprised 45 postmenopausal women, who exercised over 12months (exercise group), and 36 women who served as a non-training control group. BMD of the hip, and lumbar spine was measured at the baseline and 12th month. Repeated measurement analysis of variance and nonparametric test were utilized to compare differences between the exercise group and controls. Thirty-six out of 45 persons in the exercise group and 36 controls completed the study. Average compliance was 82.2% for the whole exercise group at the 12th month. All the subjects had decreased BMD, but the rate of bone loss was lower in the exercise group than in the control group at the L4 and hip. Although the exercise program in this study may probably reduce the rate of bone loss in weight-bearing skeletal sites, we do not suggest the exercise by itself be viewed as prevention or treatment for osteoporosis. Further, the exact dose-response relationship of exercise and bone mass in early postmenopause is not clear.

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