Effects of aging, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy on forearm skin elasticity in women

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Jun;52(6):945-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52262.x.


Objectives: To investigate the decline per year in skin elasticity in postmenopausal women and how much hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increased elasticity over 12 months.

Design: Observational study of convenience sample.

Setting: The Cardiovascular Hospital of Central Japan, a cardiovascular medical center.

Participants: One hundred seventy-six postmenopausal subjects, mean age+/-standard deviation=61.3+/-9.1.

Measurements: In Study 1, skin elasticity was measured in the right forearm using a suction device. Comparisons also were made with 45 premenopausal subjects (aged 34.5+/-9.9). Skin elasticity in the right forearm was measured using the same device at baseline and 12 months after initiation of HRT.

Interventions: In Study 2, 12 postmenopausal subjects (mean age=57.1+/-7.4, range 49-71) received conjugated equine estrogen (0.625 mg/d) in combination with medroxyprogesterone acetate (2.5 mg/d) for 12 months.

Results: In Study 1, significant negative correlations between skin elasticity and age and years since menopause were found (r=-0.60, P<.001 for each), as well as a 0.55% decline per year in skin elasticity. In Study 2, 12 months of HRT significantly increased skin elasticity in postmenopausal subjects, by 5.2%.

Conclusion: After menopause, skin elasticity declined 0.55% per year; 12 months of HRT increased elasticity by 5.2%.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Elasticity
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy*
  • Female
  • Forearm
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena* / drug effects