(HealthDay News) — A pilot study has shown that a behavioral weight-loss program may be effective in helping overweight or obese women lose weight and reduce hot flashes, according to research published online June 23 in Menopause.

Rebecca C. Thurston, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues randomized 40 overweight or obese women with hot flashes (≥4 per day) to either behavioral weight-loss intervention or wait-list control.

The researchers found that most women (74.1%) reported hot flash reduction as a motivator for weight loss. Women in the intervention group, compared with those in the control group, lost more weight (−8.86kg vs. +0.23kg; P<0.0001) and had greater reductions in questionnaire-reported hot flashes over a two-week period (−63.0 vs. −28.0; P=0.03). No differences were observed between the groups in other measures of hot flashes. A significant positive correlation was observed between weight loss and reduction in hot flashes (P=0.006).

“Findings indicate the importance of a larger study designed to test behavioral weight loss for hot flash reduction,” the authors write. “Hot flash management could motivate women to engage in this health-promoting behavior.”

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)