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Climacteric. 1999 Mar;2(1):37-44.

Climacteric modifications in body weight and fat tissue distribution.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the effects of climacteric modifications on body weight and fat distribution.

METHODS:

From 8764 women attending the authors' Menopause Clinic, 1075 untreated, normal healthy women were selected and divided into three groups: premenopausal (n = 380), perimenopausal (n = 263) and postmenopausal (n = 432). The total body fat tissue mass and distribution were analyzed using the dual energy X-ray method.

RESULTS:

Body weight and body mass index (BMI) were significantly higher in perimenopausal and postmenopausal than in premenopausal women. The mean total body fat and the percentage of fat with respect to soft tissue were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the perimenopausal and postmenopausal groups than in the premenopausal group. The amount of fat tissue and the regional fat percentage with respect to total fat tissue were higher in the trunk (p < 0.05) and arm (p < 0.05) regions in perimenopausal and postmenopausal than in premenopausal women. In the postmenopausal group, the leg fat tissue was significantly (p < 0.05) less than in the premenopausal and perimenopausal groups. Total body and leg lean tissue was significantly (p < 0.01) less in postmenopausal than in premenopausal and perimenopausal women. In the premenopausal group, body weight and BMI were positively correlated with age (r = 0.37 and r = 0.54, respectively). No significant correlations were observed in the perimenopausal group. In postmenopausal women, body weight and BMI were loosely correlated with age (r = 0.13 and r = 0.11, respectively). In three groups of 63 age-matched women, with similar BMI, the percentage of total body fat with respect to soft tissue was significantly (p < 0.001) higher in the perimenopausal and postmenopausal groups than in the premenopausal group. Regarding body fat distribution, the percentage of fat with respect to total fat tissue was significantly higher in the trunk (p < 0.001) region in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. In the leg region, the percentage of fat with respect to total fat tissue was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the premenopausal group than in the postmenopausal group. In the arm region, a slight but not significant (p < 0.08) difference was shown in fat distribution among the three groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Climacteric changes rather than the aging process are relevant for prediction of body weight and fat distribution, especially for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, who show a shift to a central, android fat distribution.

PMID:
11910677
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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