Low bone mineral density (BMD) and muscle weakness are major risk factors for postmenopausal osteoporotic fracture. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) reverses the menopausal decline in maximum voluntary force of the adductor pollicis and reduces serum angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) levels. The insertion (I) allele of the ACE gene polymorphism is associated with lower ACE activity and improved muscle efficiency in response to physical training. Therefore, we examined whether the presence of the I allele in postmenopausal women would affect the muscle response to HRT. Those taking HRT showed a significant gain in normalized muscle maximum voluntary force slope, the rate of which was strongly influenced by ACE genotype (16.0 ± 1.53%, 14.3 ± 2.67%, and 7.76 ± 4.13%, mean ± SEM for II, ID, and DD genotype, respectively; P = 0.017 for gene effect, P = 0.004 for I allele effect). There was also a significant ACE gene effect in the response of BMD to HRT in Ward’s triangle (P = 0.03) and a significant I allele effect in the spine (P = 0.03), but not in the neck of femur or total hip. These data suggests that low ACE activity associated with the I allele confers an improved muscle and BMD response in postmenopausal women treated with HRT.
- bone mineral density
- hormone replacement therapy