Treating menopause symptoms reduces abdominal fat tissue

March 27, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Women who undergo hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms tend to have less fat tissue, particularly in the abdomen, than other menopausal women, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Menopause is the process a woman goes through when her monthly periods end following the aging of the ovaries and the subsequent reduction of estrogens, the feminine sex hormone. Women going through this transition often find they are more susceptible to weight gain, and scientists are still researching how to improve this transition.

"When we studied a large sample of women to better understand the effect of menopausal hormone therapy on body composition, our research revealed that women were less likely to accumulate abdominal fat tissue while they were undergoing menopausal hormone therapy," said Georgios E. Papadakis, M.D., F.M.H., of Service of Endocrinology, CHUV, Lausanne University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. "However, the protective effect disappeared quickly after the participants stopped receiving menopausal hormone therapy."

The researchers examined data from a sub-study of the CoLaus study, an ongoing prospective study to assess factors that affect the outcomes of cardiovascular disease. The participants in the sub-study, called the OsteoLaus cohort, were postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 80. The 1,086 participants were questioned about their current and past use of menopausal hormone therapy. All the women underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to measure their body composition.

The women who were currently on menopausal hormone therapy exhibited significantly lower levels of abdominal fat tissue than women who had never received menopausal hormone therapy. The women going through menopausal hormone therapy also tended to have slightly lower total fat mass levels and body mass index measurements.

Among women who had previously used menopausal hormone therapy, the analysis found no residual effect on abdominal fat tissue. Regardless of how long women underwent menopausal hormone therapy and how much time had elapsed since they used MHT, the results suggested they experienced a rapid rebound in fat accumulation.

"Abdominal fat poses a risk for cardiovascular and bone health," Papadakis said. "When women stop menopausal hormone therapy, they need to be aware of the risk and ideally should increase their physical activity to combat the possibility of weight gain."
-end-
Other authors of the study include: Didier Hans, Peter Vollenweider, Gerard Waeber, Elena Gonzalez Rodriguez, Pedro Marques-Vidal and Olivier Lamy of CHUV, Lausanne University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The OsteoLaus study was supported by research grants from Lausanne University Hospital and the Swiss National Science Foundation. The CoLaus study was supported by research grants from GlaxoSmithKline, the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of Lausanne, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The study, "Menopausal Hormone Therapy is Associated with Reduced Total and Visceral Adiposity," will be published online, ahead of print.

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

The Endocrine Society

Related Weight Gain Articles from Brightsurf:

How much postmenopause weight gain can be blamed on weight-promoting medications?
Abdominal weight gain, which is common during the postmenopause period, is associated with an array of health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.

Earlier gestational diabetes diagnosis, less weight gain
A new study has shown that initiating screening for gestational diabetes in high-risk women in the first trimester of pregnancy instead of the second trimester, allowing for treatment to start earlier, can help optimize gestational weight gain.

Research provides new insights into menopause and weight gain
Can women in menopause get the benefits of hormone replacement therapy without the health risks?

Study examines timing of weight gain in children
Recent studies suggest kids tend to gain the most weight in summer, but schools are chastised for providing unhealthy food and beverages, along with decreasing opportunities for physical activity.

New study shows why people gain weight as they get older
Many people struggle to keep their weight in check as they get older.

Being teased about weight linked to more weight gain among children, NIH study suggests
Youth who said they were teased or ridiculed about their weight increased their body mass by 33 percent more each year, compared to a similar group who had not been teased, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Daily self-weighing can prevent holiday weight gain
Researchers at the University of Georgia have shown that a simple intervention -- daily self-weighing -- can help people avoid holiday weight gain.

Association between weight before pregnancy, weight gain during pregnancy and adverse outcomes for mother, infant
An analysis that combined the results of 25 studies including nearly 197,000 women suggests prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) of the mother was more strongly associated with risk of adverse maternal and infant outcomes than the amount of gestational weight gain.

Comfort food leads to more weight gain during stress
Australian researchers have discovered a new molecular pathway in the brain that triggers more weight gain in times of stress.

Women gain weight when job demands are high
Heavy pressures at work seem to predispose women to weight gain, irrespective of whether they have received an academic education.

Read More: Weight Gain News and Weight Gain Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.