A recent [i]Menopause Live[/i] commentary addressed the use of complementary medicine by symptomatic women (see the April 21 edition). Needless to say that the ideal and safest therapy for vasomotor symptoms (VMS) would be healthy lifestyle (‘eat right and be physically active’). The April issue of the journal [i]Menopause[/i] includes three relevant randomized, controlled studies, all coming from the MsFLASH (Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health) Research Network. The design and methodology of these studies were already reported last year . Eligible women were randomized to yoga ([i]n[/i] = 107), exercise ([i]n[/i] = 106), or usual activity ([i]n[/i] = 142), and were simultaneously randomized to a double-blind comparison of 1.8 g daily omega-3 fatty acid ([i]n[/i] = 177) or placebo ([i]n[/i] = 178) capsules [2-4]. The exercise intervention consisted of individual facility-based, moderate-intensity, aerobic exercise training three times per week for 12 weeks. Yoga intervention consisted of 12 weekly 90-min yoga classes with daily home practice. Primary outcomes were VMS frequency and bother assessed by daily diaries. There were no differences between the active arm and control arm (for exercise or yoga) and active arm versus placebo (omega-3 trial) at the end of 12 weeks of therapy. However, exercise and yoga were successful in improving sleep quality. Amazing as it sounds, the investigators, who managed to publish their study results in three separate articles [2-4], each describing one potential mode of alternative therapy for vasomotor symptoms, were allowed to publish another paper summarizing the above three failed therapeutic approaches .
Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Sternfeld B, LaCroix A, Caan BJ, et al. Design and methods of a multi-site, multi-behavioral treatment trial for menopausal symptoms: the MsFLASH experience. Contemp Clin Trials 2013;35:25-34.
Sternfeld B, Guthrie KA, Ensrud KE, et al. Efficacy of exercise for menopausal symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause 2014;21:330-8.
Newton KM, Reed SD, Guthrie KA, et al. Efficacy of yoga for vasomotor symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause 2014;21:339-46.
Cohen LS, Joffe H, Guthrie KA, et al. Efficacy of omega-3 for vasomotor symptoms treatment: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause 2014;21:347-54.
Reed SD, Guthrie KA, Newton KM, et al. Menopausal quality of life: RCT of yoga, exercise, and omega-3 supplements. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;210:244.
Richardson MK. Menopause strategies: finding lasting answers for symptoms and health: eliminating hot flashes still not a slam dunk! Menopause 2014;21:321-2.