Research: REED and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 237

Abstract

REED and COLLEAGUES, (1)Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Electronic address: reeds@u.washington.edu ; (2)Data Coordinating Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA; (3)Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA; (4)School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; (5)Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA;

(6)School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN; (7)Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; (8)Klein Buendel, Inc, Golden, CO;

(9)Department of Medicine, VA Medical Center, and Department of Medicine and Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; (10)Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa; (11)Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; (12)Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN; (13)Essential Yoga Therapy, Fall City, WA; (14)Data Coordinating Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA; Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY investigated the efficacy of 3 nonhormonal therapies for the improvement of menopause-related quality of life in women with symptoms

Background

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of 3 nonhormonal therapies for the improvement of menopause-related quality of life in women with vasomotor symptoms.

Methodology

The authors conducted a 12-week 3 × 2 randomized, controlled, factorial design trial. Peri- and postmenopausal women, 40-62 years old, were assigned randomly to yoga (n = 107), exercise (n = 106), or usual activity (n = 142) and also assigned randomly to a double-blind comparison of omega-3 (n = 177) or placebo (n = 178) capsules. We performed the following interventions: (1) weekly 90-minute yoga classes with daily at-home practice, (2) individualized facility-based aerobic exercise training 3 times/week, and (3) 0.615 g omega-3 supplement, 3 times/day. The outcomes were assessed with the following scores: Menopausal Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) total and domain (vasomotor symptoms, psychosocial, physical and sexual).

Results

Among 355 randomly assigned women who average age was 54.7 years, 338 women (95%) completed 12-week assessments. Mean baseline vasomotor symptoms frequency was 7.6/day, and the mean baseline total MENQOL score was 3.8 (range, 1-8 from better to worse) with no between-group differences. For yoga compared to usual activity, baseline to 12-week improvements were seen for MENQOL total -0.3 (95% confidence interval, -0.6 to 0; P = .02), vasomotor symptom domain (P = .02), and sexuality domain (P = .03) scores. For women who underwent exercise and omega-3 therapy compared with control subjects, improvements in baseline to 12-week total MENQOL scores were not observed. Exercise showed benefit in the MENQOL physical domain score at 12 weeks (P = .02).

Conclusion

All women become menopausal, and many of them seek medical advice on ways to improve quality of life; little evidence-based information exists. We found that, among healthy sedentary menopausal women, yoga appears to improve menopausal quality of life; the clinical significance of our finding is uncertain because of the modest effect.

References

Reed SD(1), Guthrie KA(2), Newton KM(3), Anderson GL(2), Booth-LaForce C(4), Caan B(5), Carpenter JS(6), Cohen LS(7), Dunn AL(8), Ensrud KE(9), Freeman EW(10), Hunt JR(2), Joffe H(11), Larson JC(2), Learman LA(12), Rothenberg R(13), Seguin RA(14), Sherman KJ(3), Sternfeld BS(5), LaCroix AZ(2). Menopausal quality of life: RCT of yoga, exercise, and omega-3 supplements.  Am J Obstet Gynecol. 210(3):244.e1-11. Mar 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.11.016.  Epub Nov 8 2013.

Comment

The results from this admittedly limited randomized trial with several hundred peri- and post-menopausal woman showed that yoga appeared to improve menopausal quality of life.

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