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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2006 Oct;32(5):513-6.

Precedence of the shift of body-fat distribution over the change in body composition after menopause.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kagoshima University, Medical and Dental Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan.



This study investigated the sequence of certain phenomena after menopause: decrease in bone mineral density (BMD), change in body composition (lean and fat components), and the shift toward upper body fat distribution.


Subjects were 188 postmenopausal women aged 50-65 years old. They were divided into four subgroups based on 4-year increments in age. Regularly menstruating women (n = 51) aged 50-53 years old served as controls. Age, height, weight, and years since menopause were recorded. Body fat mass, percentage of body fat (%fat), lean body mass (LBM), lumbar spine (L2-4), total body BMD, and the trunk-leg fat mass ratio were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.


In postmenopausal women (n = 42) aged 50-53 years, BMD was lower compared to age-matched controls (P < 0.05), while other variables did not differ. Trunk-leg fat mass ratio in women aged 54-57 years or more was significantly higher than that in control. LBM was significantly lower while percentage fat was significantly higher in women aged 58-61 years old or more.


An initial event during the menopausal process is BMD loss, which is followed by body fat distribution shift, then LBM loss and reciprocal increase in body fat mass.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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