HealthDay News — Midlife women should be screened for overweight/obesity and offered appropriate education, treatment, and support, according to a review published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Noting that central obesity, in particular, results in adverse cardiometabolic consequences, Ekta Kapoor, MBBS, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues discussed the importance of weight management in midlife in women.

The researchers note that the importance of weight management cannot be overemphasized, as cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in postmenopausal women; weight gain in midlife also contributes to other health risks. Primary care physicians must screen midlife women for overweight/obesity and offer them appropriate advice and referral.

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Unique barriers to adoption of healthy lifestyle measures, including the presence of vasomotor symptoms, mood disorders, and sleep disturbance, should be addressed in postmenopausal women, and providers should offer counseling regarding lifestyle change, behavior modification, and psychological support.

Menopausal hormone therapy should be considered for management of bothersome symptoms when indicated. Menopausal hormone therapy cannot be recommended as a treatment for central obesity in midlife women despite its favorable influence on body fat distribution.

“We recommend that medical practitioners actively screen for overweight/obesity in midlife women and offer appropriate education, treatment, and support,” the authors write. “This includes management of issues unique to midlife women, including vasomotor symptoms, mood disorders, and sleep disturbances, that interfere with adoption of healthy lifestyle measures.”

One author disclosed ties to Mithra Pharmaceuticals.

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Kapoor E, Collazo-Clavell ML, Faubion SS. Weight gain in women at midlife: a concise review of the pathophysiology and strategies for management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2017; 92(10); 1552-1558.