Menopausal quality of life: RCT of yoga, exercise, and omega-3 supplements

Susan D. Reed, Katherine A. Guthrie, Katherine M. Newton, Garnet L. Anderson, Cathryn Booth-Laforce, Bette Caan, Janet S. Carpenter, Lee S. Cohen, Andrea L. Dunn, Kristine E. Ensrud, Ellen W. Freeman, Julie R. Hunt, Hadine Joffe, Joseph C. Larson, Lee A. Learman, Robin Rothenberg, Rebecca A. Seguin, Karen J. Sherman, Barbara S. Sternfeld, Andrea Z. Lacroix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of 3 nonhormonal therapies for the improvement of menopause-related quality of life in women with vasomotor symptoms. Study Design We conducted a 12-week 3 × 2 randomized, controlled, factorial design trial. Peri- and postmenopausal women, 40-62 years old, were assigned randomly to yoga (n = 107), exercise (n = 106), or usual activity (n = 142) and also assigned randomly to a double-blind comparison of omega-3 (n = 177) or placebo (n = 178) capsules. We performed the following interventions: (1) weekly 90-minute yoga classes with daily at-home practice, (2) individualized facility-based aerobic exercise training 3 times/week, and (3) 0.615 g omega-3 supplement, 3 times/day. The outcomes were assessed with the following scores: Menopausal Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) total and domain (vasomotor symptoms, psychosocial, physical and sexual). Results Among 355 randomly assigned women who average age was 54.7 years, 338 women (95%) completed 12-week assessments. Mean baseline vasomotor symptoms frequency was 7.6/day, and the mean baseline total MENQOL score was 3.8 (range, 1-8 from better to worse) with no between-group differences. For yoga compared to usual activity, baseline to 12-week improvements were seen for MENQOL total -0.3 (95% confidence interval, -0.6 to 0; P =.02), vasomotor symptom domain (P =.02), and sexuality domain (P =.03) scores. For women who underwent exercise and omega-3 therapy compared with control subjects, improvements in baseline to 12-week total MENQOL scores were not observed. Exercise showed benefit in the MENQOL physical domain score at 12 weeks (P =.02). Conclusion All women become menopausal, and many of them seek medical advice on ways to improve quality of life; little evidence-based information exists. We found that, among healthy sedentary menopausal women, yoga appears to improve menopausal quality of life; the clinical significance of our finding is uncertain because of the modest effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244.e1-244.e11
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • exercise
  • menopause
  • omega-3
  • quality of life
  • randomized controlled trial
  • yoga

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