Menopause Is Linked to Risk of Glaucoma
Menopause may be associated with increased risk of glaucoma, according to research published in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.
Individuals going through menopause lose estrogen and other sex hormones that may increase risk of glaucoma or other vision changes. Menopause is associated with risk of developing cardiovascular and bone health issues, although the association between menopause and eye conditions is not confirmed.
In one study, postmenopausal women were shown to have intraocular pressure that was 1.5 to 3.5 mm Hg higher than that of premenopausal women, although postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy had lower intraocular pressure of 0.5 to 3.0 mm Hg compared with postmenopausal women who did not receive this therapy.
Investigators wanted to determine whether menopause could be an independent risk factor for glaucoma—the No. 1 cause of incurable blindness due to the gradual deterioration of retinol cells. They conducted a study to answer this question. Specifically, the team evaluated the link between intraocular pressure and risk for glaucoma. The results of the study suggest a strong link exists between estrogen changes and intraocular pressure, and menopause may be considered a risk factor for glaucoma.
Understanding the relationship between estrogen and glaucoma risk could influence clinical decision-making. Estrogen-based therapies could be a promising treatment for those at risk of postmenopause-associated glaucoma, and estrogen receptor targets could even be used for other eye conditions. However, more clinical trials are needed.—Erin Hunter
FDA Approves Fezolinetant to Manage Hot Flashes, Night Sweats Associated With Menopause
The FDA has approved fezolinetant (Veozah; Astellas Pharma Inc) for moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats caused by menopause. Vasomotor symptoms are the most common symptoms associated with menopause, and approximately 80% of menopausal women may experience hot flashes and night sweats.
“Hot flashes as a result of menopause can be a serious physical burden on women and impact their quality of life,” Janet Maynard, MD, MHS, director of the Office of Rare Diseases, Pediatrics, Urologic, and Reproductive Medicine in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a press release.
When balanced, estrogen and neurokinin B work to regulate the body’s temperature control center. However, estrogen decreases during menopause, causing an imbalance that invokes symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
The FDA approval was based on data from the phase 3 SKYLIGHT 1 (NCT04003155) and SKYLIGHT 2 (NCT04003142) trials, which showed that fezolinetant, as a 45-mg once-daily pill, can be a safe and effective treatment for moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms.
The prescribing information includes a warning for elevated hepatic transaminase levels. Before taking fezolinetant, patients should have blood work done to test for liver damage, with follow-up routine blood work every 3 months for the first 9 months of using the medication.
“The introduction of a new molecule to treat moderate to severe menopausal hot flashes will provide an additional safe and effective treatment option for women,” Maynard said in the press release.—Erin Hunter
Study: Majority of Women Support Group Consultation for Menopause
Women going through menopause appear to be receptive to group consultations, according to a study published in BMC Women’s Health. Premenopausal women had the most motivation to attend these sessions, which have grown in popularity and have been shown to improve patient outcomes for a variety of conditions, including diabetes.
Nearly every woman will go through menopause, which includes 3 stages: premenopause, perimenopause, and postmenopause.
Investigators conducted an online survey to gauge the receptiveness of women going through any stage of menopause (aged 35-70 years) toward related group consultations, stratifying participants by menopause stage. They looked for associations among stage, responsiveness, and demographic.
The analysis revealed that 77% of participants were interested in joining group consultations, and premenopausal women were 2.84 times more likely to show interest in group consultations.
The survey also asked about menopause symptoms, and results showed that approximately 8 of 10 women experienced hot flashes and night sweats, with a similar number experiencing sleep disturbances.—Erin Hunter