Obesity may worsen menopause symptoms in women

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New York, Sep 27(IANS) Obesity, which has already been associated with a number of adverse health conditions, may also worsen a woman’s menopause symptoms.

According to a study, led by an Indian-origin researcher, obesity may also limit the amount of relief women get from hormone therapy — 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 hormone therapy during menopause. More specifically, no research is known to exist relative to the effect of obesity on the effectiveness of hormone therapy.

The five-year study, involving 119 patients, sought to fill some of that information void by investigating the association of obesity and self-reported efficacy of hormone therapy in peri- and postmenopausal women.

The study defines obesity as a body mass index (BMI) of greater than or equal to 30. Women with obesity were more likely to report the presence of hot flashes, genitor-urinary/vulvovaginal symptoms, mood disturbances, and decreased libido.

“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,” said Dr. Anita Pershad from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, US.

The study’s results will be presented during the ongoing 2023 Annual Meeting of The Menopause Society in Philadelphia, US.

“This is important for healthcare professionals to consider when counselling their patients on the various options for managing their menopause symptoms,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director, The Menopause Society.

“Considering that more than 40 per cent of women over the age of 40 are classified as obese according to the US CDC, these results could be meaningful to a large percentage of patients transitioning through menopause.”

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