Syndrome W Publications & Presentations

2000: Discovery Health

Syndrome W
By Christine Soares

Midriff weight gain in mid-life could be the sign of a serious metabolic problem. Ilene Cohen couldn't figure out what was wrong, and neither could her doctors. "I was always tired," she recalls, "working full-time and running a home, on my day off I didn't want to do anything. "I felt I was missing a lot because I only wanted to rest." Cohen, now 42, is just shy of five feet tall. She had been gaining weight too, and was up to 167 pounds. Over the years, she had sought help.

"I had different doctors, and I always complained about being very lethargic, and I went for more thyroid and glucose tolerance tests, and they all came back negative. 'Everything's fine, maybe you're working too much' they said."

Cohen remained baffled and miserable until a friend recommended one more doctor for her to try. An endocrinologist at New York Medical College in Valhalla, Dr. Harriette Mogul had been screening hundreds of women since the college started their Menopause Health Program in 1994. She had quickly begun noticing a cluster of symptoms in a certain type of patient who came in to be evaluated for hormone replacement therapy.

"Among these patients—a narrow range of health-conscious, non-smoking, physically-active women approaching menopause—there were many complaints of weight gain, usually around the waist, after years at a constant weight. When we began seeing these symptoms clustered together with elevated blood pressure and insulin levels, we decided there was a pattern," Dr. Mogul recalls.


2000 : Internal Medicine News

Metformin for Midlife Spread in Woman
By Bruce Jancin

Metformin may promote long term weight loss in nondiabetic women with midlife weight gain and hyperinsulinemia, Dr. Harriette R. Mogul said at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.