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BJOG. 2015 Mar;122(4):565-75. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13193. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

The effectiveness of exercise as treatment for vasomotor menopausal symptoms: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Primary Care Clinical Sciences, School of Health and Population Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effectiveness of exercise as treatment for vasomotor menopausal symptoms.

DESIGN:

Three-group randomised controlled trial, two exercise interventions and a control group.

SETTING:

Primary Care, West Midlands UK.

POPULATION:

Perimenopausal and postmenopausal women experiencing at least five hot flushes/night sweats per day and not taken MHT in previous 3 months were recruited from 23 general practices.

METHODS:

Participants in both exercise interventions groups were offered two face-to-face consultations with a physical activity facilitator to support engagement in regular exercise. In addition, one exercise group received a menopause-specific information DVD and written materials to encourage regular exercise and the other exercise group was offered the opportunity to attend exercise social support groups in their communities. Interventions lasted 6 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The primary outcome was frequency of hot flushes/night sweats at 6-month up.

RESULTS:

Two hundred and sixty-one women were randomised (n = 87 per group). Neither of the exercise intervention groups reported significantly less frequent hot flushes/night sweats per week than controls (exercise-DVD versus control: -8.9, 95% CI -20.0 to 2.2; exercise-social support versus control: -5.2, 95% CI -16.7 to 6.3).

CONCLUSIONS:

This trial indicates that exercise is not an effective treatment for hot flushes/night sweats. Contrary to current clinical guidance, women should not be advised that exercise will relieve their vasomotor menopausal symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise; hot flushes; menopause; night sweats; primary care

Comment in

PMID:
25516405
DOI:
10.1111/1471-0528.13193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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