Objective: Menopause status has been associated with weight gain and increased central adiposity. Obesity and postural instability are related to an increased risk of falls. The purpose of our study was to analyze the association of body weight and body fat distribution with postural balance and their correlation with falls in postmenopausal women.
Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted on 100 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 65 years with at least 12 months of amenorrhea. The participants were divided into obese, overweight, and normal-weight groups according to their body mass index (BMI) and into android, uniform, and gynoid body fat distribution types according to waist-to-hip ratio. Postural stability was assessed with force platforms. χ2 and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results: A total of 18 participants reported falls in the previous 12 months. The obese group had significantly higher values for the root-mean-square amplitude of the center of pressure in the posteroanterior direction under both eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions (P = 0.005 and P = 0.007, respectively), as well as for the velocity of center-of-pressure displacements (P = 0.032). In the android group, most stabilometric parameters under the condition “eyes open and standing on a foam surface” were significantly higher, whereas greater values were observed in the uniform-type group with eyes closed. A BMI of 25 kg/m2 or higher (odds ratio, 3.58; 95% CI, 1.07-11.9; P = 0.038) and android body fat distribution (odds ratio, 5.35; 95% CI, 1.75-16.39; P = 0.003) were correlated with the risk of falling.
Conclusions: Postural instability is associated with obesity and uniform and android body fat distribution types (waist-to-hip ratio > 0.76) in Spanish postmenopausal women aged 50 to 65 years. Our results also suggest that a BMI of 25 kg/m2 or higher and android body fat distribution can be considered as independent risk factors for falls.