Weight loss associated with fewer hot flushes in women

January 01, 0001

Weight loss associated with fewer hot flushes in women

Higher body mass index is associated with worse hot flushes during menopause, but interventions to treat hot flushes through weight loss have not been reported before. These US investigators enrolled 338 overweight or obese menopausal women in a 6-month randomized controlled trial of an intensive behavioral weight loss program (intervention) vs a structured health education program (control). Women completed self-administered surveys as repeated measures.

They found: "Approximately half of participants (n = 154) were at least slightly bothered by hot flushes at baseline. Among these women, the intervention was associated with greater improvement in bothersome flushes vs control (OR for improvement by 1 Likert category, 2.25). Reductions in weight (OR, 1.32 per 5-kg decrease), body mass index (1.17 per 1-point decrease), and abdominal circumference (1.32 per 5-cm decrease) were each associated with improvement in flushing, but changes in physical activity, calorie intake, blood pressure, and physical and mental functioning were not related. The effect of the intervention on flushing was modestly diminished after adjustment for multiple potential mediators (OR, 1.92)."

The authors concluded: "Among women who were overweight or obese and had bothersome hot flushes, an intensive behavioral weight loss intervention resulted in improvement in flushing relative to control."

Here is early evidence that intervention to reduce weight in obese menopausal women helps reduce hot flushes.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Intern Med 170(13):1161-1167, 12 July 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
An Intensive Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention and Hot Flushes in Women. Alison J. Huang, Leslee L. Subak, Rena Wing, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Huang: [email protected]

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: hot flushes, menopause, women, obesity, weight loss, randomized controlled trial, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 3 August 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.