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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 1999 Oct;25(5):367-72.

The contribution of menopause to changes in body-fat distribution.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Japan.



To investigate whether menopause contributes to changes in body-fat distribution, irrespective of aging or obesity.


The subjects were 545 premenopausal (aged 16-55 years; mean +/- standard deviation, 37.7 +/- 9.1 years) and 219 postmenopausal (aged 45-65 years, 58.0 +/- 5.0 years) women. Baseline characteristics included age, body mass index (BMI), and menopausal status (premenopause or postmenopause). The ratio of trunk fat to leg fat (trunk-leg ratio) was estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The trunk-leg ratio and baseline characteristics were compared between the 2 groups. In all subjects (n = 764), possible correlations between the trunk-leg ratio and the baseline characteristics were determined using univariate and multivariate analysis. In postmenopausal women, the relationship of the trunk-leg ratio to YSM or age after adjusting for BMI was investigated.


The trunk-leg ratio and BMI were significantly higher in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. In all subjects, age and BMI were positively correlated with the trunk-leg ratio (r = 0.445 and 0.587, respectively, p < 0.0001). Menopause was also positively correlated with the trunk-leg ratio on univariate regression analysis (standardized regression coefficient = 0.369, p < 0.0001). On multiple regression analysis, age, BMI, and menopause were independently correlated with the trunk-leg ratio (p < 0.05). In postmenopausal women, age and YSM were positively correlated with the trunk-leg ratio, independent of the BMI (p < 0.01).


Menopause contributes to a change in body-fat distribution, irrespective of aging or obesity.

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