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Obese women experience severe menopausal symptoms

2023 Oct 02, 18:49, Washington

Obesity has already been linked to a number of health conditions, as well as a reduction in a person's quality of life. A new study suggests that, in addition to these other difficulties, it may worsen a woman's menopause symptoms and reduce the amount of relief she receives from hormone therapy(HT).

The findings of the study will be revealed during The Menopause Society's 2023 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

HT remains the most effective treatment to manage a wide array of menopause symptoms. Little research has been done, however, on the impact of comorbidities on the efficacy of HT during menopause. More specifically, no research is known to exist relative to the effect of obesity on the effectiveness of HT.

A new five-year study involving 119 patients sought to fill some of that information void by investigating the association between obesity and self-reported efficacy of HT in peri- and postmenopausal women. In this study, obesity was defined as a body mass index of greater than or equal to 30.

There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups of patients (obese vs. non-obese) relative to age, duration of menopause, or use/acceptance of HT. Women with obesity, however, were more likely to self-identify as Black, and report the presence of hot flashes, genitourinary/vulvovaginal symptoms, mood disturbances, and decreased libido.

Based on the results, the researchers concluded that menopausal women with obesity experienced an increase in menopause symptom prevalence and lower efficacy of HT. Dr. Anita Pershad from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk led the study which will be presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting of The Menopause Society.

“We studied menopausal symptoms in an underrepresented patient population that’s not often included in women’s health studies. This research can help clinicians serving a more diverse racial and socioeconomic patient population that’s severely affected by the social determinants of health to provide better-tailored care and counselling to patients seeking treatment for their menopausal symptoms,” says Dr Pershad.

“This is important for healthcare professionals to consider when counselling their patients on the various options for managing their menopause symptoms,” adds Dr Stephanie Faubion, medical director for The Menopause Society. “Considering that more than 40 per cent of women over the age of 40 are classified as obese according to the CDC, these results could be meaningful to a large percentage of patients transitioning through menopause.”


negative person menopause symptoms
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