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Perceived Weight Gain Accurate for New Contraceptive Users

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- For new contraceptive users, perceived weight gain, reported by about one-third of users, often represents actual weight gain, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Ashley M. Nault, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues analyzed self-reported weight change data from 4,133 new contraceptive method users at three, six, and 12 months after enrollment. To assess the validity of self-reported weight gain, data were examined for a subgroup of participants with objective weight measurements at baseline and 12 months.

The researchers found that weight gain was perceived by 34 percent of participants. Implant users and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate users were more likely to report perceived weight gain than copper intrauterine device users (relative risk, 1.29 and 1.37, respectively). There was a mean actual weight gain of 10.3 pounds in women who perceived weight gain. The sensitivity of perceived weight gain was 74.6 percent and the specificity was 84.4 percent.

"In conclusion, self-reported weight change is easy to obtain and in most women represents true weight gain," the authors write. "The perception of weight gain is clinically important because it may affect a woman's satisfaction with her contraceptive method or influence a woman's decision to continue the use of the method."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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