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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Women Lag Behind Men in Muscle Strength Recovery

Women are four times more likely than men to experience a broken forearm and require a cast or immobilization.

To examine whether the effects of such casting were similar between the sexes, researchers examined immobilized volunteers for a period of three weeks. They determined that while men were able to regain 99 per cent of their strength within a week of removing the cast, women's strength was still 30 per cent lower than their pre-cast optimum strength. These finding may have implications for the treatment of fractures based on gender lines. The study is believed to be the first report of sex-differences in muscle strength restoration following disuse, according to press release of American Psychological Society.

It was conducted by Brian C. Clark, Richard L. Hoffman, and David W. Russ of Ohio University, Athens and Todd M. Manini of the University of Florida, Gainesville. Clark suggested that hormones may contribute to slower recovery times in women. "This finding is preliminary and on a very small sample size. So, we must caution against over-interpreting our work."

These findings will appear in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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