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The effectiveness of exercise as treatment for vasomotor menopausal symptoms: randomised controlled trial
journal contributionposted on 13.03.2018, 16:21 by Amanda Daley, A. Thomas, Andrea K. Roalfe, H. Stokes-Lampard, Sarah J. Coleman, M. Rees, M.S. Hunter, Christine MacArthur
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.
This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research. AD is supported by a National Institute for Health Research Senior Research Fellowship. CM is part funded by the NIHR through the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for West Midlands (CLAHRC-WM) programme.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences