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Hum Biol. 1996 Dec;68(6):967-82.

Timing of menopause in relation to body size and weight change.

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Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst 01003-4805, USA.


Age at menopause was examined in relation to weight and body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2) in 105 women,. age 41 years and older, who recalled the date of their last menstrual period to be at least 12 months before the interview. Mean recalled age at menopause was 49.3 years (SD 4.8); median age at menopause, by probit analysis, was 49.96. Age at menopause was negatively correlated with weight (r = -0.252, p < 0.05) and BMI (r = -0.204, p < 0.05) at interview; however, weight at time of interview is not necessarily an accurate indicator of weight at the time of menopause. Among women who did not report a gain or loss of 50 pounds across adulthood (n = 59) there was no significant correlation between weight or BMI and age at menopause. Age at menopause was earlier among women who reported weight losses of 50 or more pounds across adulthood (p < 0.01). In addition, age at menopause was earlier among women who reported weight gains of 100 or more pounds, although this difference was not significant at p < 0.05. Further attention should be given to weight change in relation to the timing of menopause.

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