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Obesity and Severity of Menopausal Symptoms: a Contemporary Review

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Abstract

Purpose of Review

Vasomotor symptoms are frequently experienced by women during menopause and have been linked to obesity. Severity of menopausal symptoms is a distinct construct from presence of symptoms, and the relation between severity of symptoms and obesity is less established. The purpose of this brief narrative review was to summarize evidence from recent studies on associations between menopausal symptom severity and measures of obesity.

Recent Findings

Sixteen articles were identified that specifically assessed and reported on the severity of menopausal symptoms in relation to measures of obesity including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio.

Summary

Most studies to date show that greater BMI, waist size, and waist-to-hip ratio are associated with greater severity of menopausal symptoms. Given the large segment of women who will experience symptoms and that severity of symptoms influences treatment decisions, future studies are needed to determine how weight management efforts may reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms.

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Funding

American Heart Association AHA16SFRN27960011 and AHA811531 (PI: Aggarwal).

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Conceptualization, V.C., A.C., and B.A.; writing—original draft preparation, V.C., A.C., and B.A.; writing—review and editing, V.C., A.C., and B.A.; supervision, B.A. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Brooke Aggarwal.

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Cao, V., Clark, A. & Aggarwal, B. Obesity and Severity of Menopausal Symptoms: a Contemporary Review. Curr Diab Rep 23, 361–370 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-023-01528-w

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