Weight loss during menopause appears to be associated with increased rates of bone loss at the hip, according to a study published in the October issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (abstract available here).

“Women who took hormones at the time of menopause experienced slower rates of bone loss,” Dr. Jane A. Cauley, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, told Reuters. “Nevertheless, if these women also lost weight, they experienced faster rates of bone loss.”

Are you a cancer survivor? Or would you consider yourself more a cancer conqueror or warrior? How about activist? Writing in the L.A. Times, Barbara Sills ask women with cancer histories how they feel about labels.

Merck, the maker of the Gardasil vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer in girls and women, says the vaccine may offer protection for women up to age 45. Merck reported that a study it funded of 3,800 women age 24 to 45 found that “the vaccine prevented 91 percent of cases of persistent infection, minor cervical abnormalities, pre-cancers and genital warts caused by four strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV,” according to Reuters.

The FDA in 2006 approved Gardasil for females age 11 to 26.

Weight Debate: “Being overweight boosts the risk of dying
from diabetes and kidney disease but not cancer or heart disease, and
carrying some extra pounds actually appears to protect against a host
of other causes of death, federal researchers reported yesterday.” Thus
leads off this front-page Washington Post story on the latest study to question the connection between weight and mortality.

“The take-home message is that the relationship between fat and mortality is more complicated than we tend to think,” said Katherine M. Flegal, a senior research scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who led the study. “It’s not a cookie-cutter,
one-size-fits-all situation, where excess weight just increases your mortality risk for any and all causes of death.”

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, drew mixed reactions:

“What this tells us is the hazards have been very much exaggerated,” said
Steven N. Blair, a professor of exercise science, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Carolina. “It’s just not as big a problem as people have said.”

But others dismissed the findings as fundamentally flawed, saying an overwhelming body of evidence has documented the risks of being either overweight or obese.

Plus: Listen to a discussion of this study at NPR.

The National Partnership for Women and Families this week took over publishing the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, an informative news digest that was previously produced by the Kaiser
Family Foundation.

Delivered via email each weekday — view the most recent edition here — it’s highly recommended for anyone with an interest in women’s health. Sign up here.

Christine

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