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BMC Womens Health. 2013 Nov 14;13:46. doi: 10.1186/1472-6874-13-46.

Excess weight and abdominal obesity in postmenopausal Brazilian women: a population-based study.

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Department of Health Science, Universidade Estadual de Maringa, Maringa, Parana, Brazil.



The menopause is associated with a tendency to gain weight. Several alterations in fat deposits occur, leading to changes in the distribution of body fat. There are strong indications that, in middle age, obesity is associated with increased mortality. This study set out to determine the factors associated with the prevalence of overweight and abdominal obesity in postmenopausal women in a population-based study in Brazil.


The sample included 456 women, aged 45-69 years, residing in the urban area of Maringa, Parana. Systematic sampling, with a probability proportional to the size of the census sector, was performed. Behavioral, economic, and sociodemographic data were collected, and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were determined.


According to BMI criteria (≥25.0 kg/m2), 72.6% of the women were overweight, and according to WC (≥88 cm), 63.6% had abdominal obesity. Based on logistic regression analysis, the factors that were most closely associated with overweight were: having three or more children (odds ratio (OR): 1.78; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-3.00); and not taking hormone replacement therapy (OR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.06-2.63). The prevalence of abdominal obesity was positively associated with greater parity (OR: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.05-1.72) and age older than 65 years (OR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.03-2.19).


This study found that the prevalences of overweight and abdominal obesity were higher for postmenopausal women who had three or more children. Age over 65 years was also a risk factor for abdominal obesity and no use of hormonal replacement therapy was a risk factor for overweight.

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