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UTMB study identifies women at risk of gaining excessive weight with injectable birth control
Date:7/24/2009

GALVESTON, Texas Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have identified women who are likely to gain weight while using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, more commonly known as Depo-Provera or the birth control shot. These findings dispel the myth that all women who use DMPA will gain weight and will help physicians to counsel patients appropriately.

DMPA users whose weight increased by 5 percent within the first six months of use, called "early gainers," are at risk of continued, excessive weight gain. While 75 percent of users gained little or no weight, the early gainers averaged weight gain of 24 pounds over three years.

"DMPA-related weight gain is linked to increased abdominal fat, a known component of metabolic syndrome, which raises the risk of obesity-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes," said corresponding author Dr. Abbey Berenson, professor in UTMB's department of obstetrics and gynecology.

The researchers recommend that physicians tailor counseling based on women's risk factors, closely monitor weight at each three-month follow-up visit and suggest a different contraception method to patients who gain significant weight within the first six months of use.

Researchers found that early gainers exhibited three major risk factors: A body mass index under 30, having children before starting DMPA and a self-reported increase in appetite after six months of DMPA use.

The study, which appears in the August issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed 240 women ages 16-33 who used DMPA for up to three years. Researchers looked at several potential predictors of weight gain, including age, race, baseline obesity prior to DMPA use, lifestyle variables such as smoking and exercise level, and weight gain at six months. They found that those who had gained more than 5 percent of their body weight within six months, or after just two injections o
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Contact: Kristen Hensley
k.hensley@utmb.edu
409-772-8772
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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