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Healthcare (Basel). 2016 Jul 13;4(3). pii: E42. doi: 10.3390/healthcare4030042.

Association of Mid-Life Changes in Body Size, Body Composition and Obesity Status with the Menopausal Transition.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Departments of Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The mid-life period is a critical window for increases in body weight and changes in body composition. In this review, we summarize the clinical experience of the menopausal transition by obesity status, and examine the evidence regarding the menopausal transition and reproductive hormones effects on body weight, body composition, or fat distribution. Mid-life obesity is associated with a different menopausal experience including associations with menstrual cycle length prior to the final menstrual period (FMP), age at the FMP, and higher prevalence of vasomotor symptoms. The menopausal transition is associated with weight gain and increased central body fat distribution; the majority of evidence suggests that changes in weight are due to chronological aging whereas changes in body composition and fat distribution are primarily due to ovarian aging. Continuous and regular physical activity during mid-life may be an efficacious strategy to counteract the age-related and menopause-related changes in resting energy expenditure and to prevent weight gain and abdominal adiposity deposition.


body composition; menopause; obesity; weight; women

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The sponsors had no role in the design of the study, in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

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