Obesity may worsen perimenopause symptoms: new research

Obese women are more likely to suffer certain symptoms during the perimenopause such as hot flashes, joint pain and urinary symptoms, according to the results of a new study.

The research, published in the journal Menopause, included 749 women (aged 45 to 60) and found that the severity of hot flashes increased as body mass index (BMI) increased.  The researchers measured menopausal symptoms using the Menopause Rating Scale, also called the MRS. They found that the score for hot flashes increased as body weight increased. On the MRS this is labelled as “hot flushes, sweating, episodes of sweating and rated from 0 for none to 4 for very severe.” Importantly, the score for hot flashes was significantly higher for obese women with a BMI >30kg/m2.

The study was conducted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medical Science, State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.  Lead researcher, Dr Saccomani, concluded that:

“We found that menopausal symptoms, including vasomotor, joint, and urinary symptoms, were related to obesity. Hot flashes were associated with higher body mass index, urinary urgency, and vaginal dryness.”

“Understanding this relationship may contribute to the development of healthcare strategies aimed at minimizing the impact of obesity on several health issues of climacteric women.”



Saccomani S, Lui-Filho JF, Juliato CR, Gabiatti JR, Pedro AO, Costa-Paiva L. Does obesity increase the risk of hot flashes among midlife women? A population-based study. Menopause. 2017 May 29.

You can read more about this research here.

Read more evidence-based research here.

Participate in ‘The Perimenopause Project’ here.