North American Menopause Society 16th Annual Meeting, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2005

North American Menopause Society 16th Annual Meeting

The North American Menopause Society's 16th annual meeting, entitled "Menopause and Healthy Aging," ran from September 28-October 1 in San Diego. The meeting, which attracted world leaders in the field, covered a range of issues from osteoporosis to ongoing controversies involving hormones.

Margery Gass, M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati, and chair of the meeting's scientific program, said meeting participants discussed the need for a multidisciplinary approach to sexual function problems in menopausal women.

"A multidisciplinary approach is so important, because physical problems end up causing emotional and relationship problems, and relationship problems often result in poor sexual function," said Gass, a past president of the NAMS. "They're just interrelated. One tends to aggravate the other."

Women who do not get help from their regular gynecologist should seek a second opinion, Gass said. "Patients should follow up if they are not making progress on the issue," said Gass. Counseling can help too, she added.

The NAMS annual meeting signaled a change in the way physicians treat osteoporosis, Gass said. "We're going to see a change in focus from focusing on a bone density number to an actual fracture risk," said Gass. "We won't just treat a bone density number, we will actually have a calculation showing how likely someone is to have a fracture in the next five or 10 years."

Some patients may not be getting treatment when they should, she said. "Fracture risk is strongly related to age. So older women who have a bone density that does not look so bad may actually need treatment, while conversely, younger women who have had a little bone loss may not need treatment because being young, their fracture risk is very low."

Hot Flashes Disturb First Four Hours of Sleep

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep disturbances caused by hot flashes are more likely to occur during the first four hours of sleep in peri- and postmenopausal women, researchers reported this week at the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

Robert R. Freedman, Ph.D., of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, and colleagues studied 12 symptomatic and eight asymptomatic postmenopausal women and 11 cycling women, aged 46 to 51.

Abstract (P.11)

Postmenopausal Black Women Have More Hot Flashes

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal black women exhibit more vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats than white women, according to study results presented at the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

K.A. Paez, M.S.N., M.B.A., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, and colleagues evaluated baseline vasomotor symptoms in 75 black and 101 white postmenopausal women enrolled in a randomized trial of dietary soy supplements.

Abstract (P.8)

fMRI Shows Postmenopausal Response to Hormones

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women treated with estrogen and testosterone have increased brain response to erotic and neutral visual stimuli compared to when they are not taking hormones, researchers reported during the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

J.S. Archer, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues used functional MRI (fMRI) to measure brain activation during erotic and neutral visual stimulation.

Abstract (P.1)

Cause of Premature Ovarian Failure Can Vary

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- About 6% of cases of spontaneous premature ovarian failure are due to premutations of the FMR1 gene, according to research presented at the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

Lawrence M. Nelson, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., reported that women with premutations in the FMR1 gene are at increased risk of premature ovarian failure as well as having a child with fragile X syndrome.

Abstract (P.16)

Phone interview with Dr. Gass
Physician's Briefing