Some meds may be driving weight gain in postmenopausal women
Use of antidepressants, beta-blockers, or insulin appears to contribute to increased weight in postmenopausal women, a study has found.
The study used data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and included 76,252 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years. Researchers measured weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC) at both baseline and the 3-year follow-up.
All participants completed an in-clinic medication inventory used to identify prescribed medications, including antidepressants, beta-blockers, insulin, and/or glucocorticosteroids. Researchers applied generalized linear models to determine if intermittent or persistent use of weight-promoting drugs was associated with increased BMI and WC.
Baseline data showed that overweight or obese women were more likely to be taking antidepressants, beta-blockers, and/or insulin. Compared with nonuse, use of at least one putative weight-promoting medication was associated with a significant increase in BMI (0.37 vs 0.27 kg/m2; p=0.0045) and WC (1.10 vs 0.89 cm; p=0.0077) over the course of 3 years.
The number weight-promoting drugs prescribed was positively correlated with both BMI and WC (ptrend<0.00001 for each medication used for both variables).
Women who used either antidepressants or insulin, or a combination of antidepressants and beta-blockers, showed the greatest increase in BMI relative to nonusers.
According to the researchers, the present data may help inform clinical decision making and efforts to mitigate medication-related weight gain.