Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 > Efficacy of exercise for menopausal symptoms: a randomized c...
Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829e4089
Original Articles

Efficacy of exercise for menopausal symptoms: a randomized controlled trial

Sternfeld, Barbara PhD1; Guthrie, Katherine A. PhD2; Ensrud, Kristine E. MD, MPH3; LaCroix, Andrea Z. PhD2; Larson, Joseph C. MS2; Dunn, Andrea L. PhD4; Anderson, Garnet L. PhD2; Seguin, Rebecca A. PhD5; Carpenter, Janet S. PhD, RN, FAAN6; Newton, Katherine M. PhD7; Reed, Susan D. MD, MPH8; Freeman, Ellen W. PhD9; Cohen, Lee S. MD10; Joffe, Hadine MD, MSc10; Roberts, Melanie MS11; Caan, Bette J. DrPH1

Editorial
Collapse Box

Abstract

Objective

This study aims to determine the efficacy of exercise training for alleviating vasomotor and other menopausal symptoms.

Methods

Late perimenopausal and postmenopausal sedentary women with frequent vasomotor symptoms (VMS) participated in a randomized controlled trial conducted in three sites: 106 women randomized to exercise and 142 women randomized to usual activity. The exercise intervention consisted of individual facility-based aerobic exercise training three times per week for 12 weeks. VMS frequency and bother were recorded on daily diaries at baseline and on weeks 6 and 12. Intent-to-treat analyses compared between-group differences in changes in VMS frequency and bother, sleep symptoms (Insomnia Severity Index and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and mood (Patient Health Questionnaire-8 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 questionnaire).

Results

At the end of week 12, changes in VMS frequency in the exercise group (mean change, −2.4 VMS/d; 95% CI, −3.0 to −1.7) and VMS bother (mean change on a four-point scale, −0.5; 95% CI, −0.6 to −0.4) were not significantly different from those in the control group (−2.6 VMS/d; 95% CI, −3.2 to −2.0; P = 0.43; −0.5 points; 95% CI, −0.6 to −0.4; P = 0.75). The exercise group reported greater improvement in insomnia symptoms (P = 0.03), subjective sleep quality (P = 0.01), and depressive symptoms (P = 0.04), but differences were small and not statistically significant when P values were adjusted for multiple comparisons. Results were similar when considering treatment-adherent women only.

Conclusions

These findings provide strong evidence that 12 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise do not alleviate VMS but may result in small improvements in sleep quality, insomnia, and depression in midlife sedentary women.

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society

Login

Article Tools

Share

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.