High Adiposity Tied to Fewer Hot Flashes in Older Women

High BMI, waist circumference tied to fewer physiologically measured hot flashes in older women

FRIDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Having a higher body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference is associated with fewer physiologically measured hot flashes in older postmenopausal women with hot flashes, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Rebecca C. Thurston, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues investigated the correlation between body size/composition and physiologically-assessed hot flashes. A total of 52 women (aged 54 to 63 years) with hot flashes who had their uterus and ovaries, and were not taking medications impacting hot flashes, were recruited between 2008 and 2009. All participants underwent anthropometric measures (bioimpendence analysis of total body fat percentage, BMI, waist circumference), blood tests (estradiol [E2], sex hormone binding globulin [SHBG], follicular stimulating hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate), and four days of ambulatory sternal skin conductance monitoring with diary (physiologic and reported hot flashes, correlation). The association between anthropometrics and hot flashes was assessed after adjusting for age, race, and anxiety.

The investigators found that higher BMI and waist circumference correlated with significantly fewer physiologic hot flashes (odds ratio, 0.97 and 0.98, respectively). Interactions by age indicated that the oldest women in the sample had the most apparent inverse associations of body fat, BMI, and waist circumference with hot flashes. Age-related variations in association between body size/composition and hot flashes were reduced but not eliminated by E2 and SHBG.

"Higher adiposity was associated with fewer physiologic hot flashes among older women with hot flashes. A modifying role of age must be considered in understanding the role of adiposity in hot flashes," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to MenogeniX.

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