A new study presented at The Menopause Society’s 2023 Annual Meeting suggests that obesity may increase the prevalence of menopause symptoms in women and lower the efficacy of hormone treatment. The study, led by Dr. Anita Pershad from Eastern Virginia Medical School, aimed to fill the research gap regarding the impact of obesity on the effectiveness of hormone treatment during menopause.
Obesity is a global health concern, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting that more than 650 million people are obese. The study involved 119 patients and defined obesity as having a body mass index of 30 or greater. The researchers found that women with obesity were more likely to report the presence of hot flashes, genitourinary/vulvovaginal symptoms, mood disturbances, and decreased libido compared to non-obese women.
Significantly, the study found no statistically significant differences between the two groups of patients in terms of age, duration of menopause, or use/acceptance of hormone treatment. However, women with obesity experienced a lower efficacy of hormone treatment overall. This highlights the need for healthcare professionals to consider the impact of obesity when counseling patients on managing their menopause symptoms.
Dr. Pershad emphasized the importance of including underrepresented patient populations in women’s health studies, as it can help clinicians provide better-tailored care and counseling. Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director for The Menopause Society, added that considering the high prevalence of obesity among women, these findings could be meaningful to a large percentage of patients going through menopause.
Obesity’s role in impacting menopause symptoms and hormone treatment efficacy adds to the existing evidence of the negative health effects of obesity. Public health agencies and experts continue to stress the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, engaging in physical activity, and eating a balanced diet to prevent and manage obesity and associated health conditions.
– World Health Organization (WHO)
– The Menopause Society
– Eastern Virginia Medical School
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)