Menopausal Hormone Therapy Linked to Reduced Abdominal Fat

Hands Touching Belly
Hands Touching Belly
Physicians should be aware that the benefit of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) on body composition might rapidly disappear after its withdrawal and strongly encourage women to optimize nutrition and increase physical activity when stopping MHT.

HealthDay News — Women who receive menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) have reduced age-adjusted visceral adipose tissue (VAT), according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Georgios E. Papadakis, M.D., from Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving women of the OsteoLaus cohort (age 50 to 80 years) who underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry with body composition assessment. The 1,053 participants were classified as current (CU), past (PU), and never (NU) MHT users.

The researchers found that the age-adjusted VAT was lower in the CU versus PU group (P = 0.03). Lower age-adjusted body mass index (BMI) was seen in the CU group (−0.9 kg/m²), and a trend for lower fat mass (FM; −1/3 kg). The CU group did not have the 10-year gain of VAT (P < 0.01), subtotal and android FM (P < 0.05). There was no difference in non-bone lean mass or in hand grip. There was no residual effect for past users, including for early discontinuers of MHT. There were no significant differences in confounding factors between the groups, except for higher caloric intake in the PU versus NU group.

“MHT is associated with significantly decreased VAT, BMI, and android FM,” the authors write. “The benefits are not preserved in PU, suggesting caution when MHT is discontinued.”

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