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Soy intake linked to fewer vasomotor menopausal symptoms in midlife women

14 Nov 2019

Consumption of soy products, but not soy milk, is associated with fewer vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) among middle-aged women, results from a pooled analysis of five studies from the InterLACE* consortium have shown.

In the cross-sectional analysis, no statistically significant evidence of an association existed between soy products (relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.92, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.76–1.11) or soy milk (RRR, 1.24, 95 percent CI, 0.93–1.65) and the odds of reporting frequent or severe VMS.

However, after adjustment for sociodemographic and reproductive factors, an association was found between frequent consumption of soy products (odds ratio [OR], 0.63, 95 percent CI, 0.45–0.89), but not soy milk (OR, 1.11, 95 percent CI, 0.85–1.45), and a lower likelihood of reporting subsequent VMS in prospective analysis.

“These are the first ever findings from pooled observational data of association between consumption of soy products and VMS,” the investigators said.

Data in this study were pooled from 19,351 middle-aged women from five observational studies in Australia, UK, US and Japan that contribute to the InterLACE consortium. Information on soy consumption, VMS and covariates were obtained by self-report.

A total of 11,006 women who had complete data on soy consumption, VMS and covariates at baseline were included in the cross-sectional analysis. The prospective analysis included 4,522 women who were free of VMS at baseline and had complete data on VMS at follow-up. Multinomial logistic regression and binary logistic regression models were used.

Soy products are rich in phyto-oestrogens, plant-based compounds that mimic oestrogen in the body.

*International Collaboration for a Life course Approach to reproductive health and Chronic disease Events

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