Objective: The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a 12-month lifestyle intervention in improving cardiovascular disease risk factors in community-based menopausal transition and early postmenopausal women in China.
Methods: One hundred healthy menopausal transition and early postmenopausal women aged 40 to 60 years were randomly assigned to receive either lifestyle change intervention (n = 53) or usual care (n = 47). Menopause status was defined by the menstrual change criteria of the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop + 10 based on prospective menstrual calendars. Women in the intervention group were provided with a colorful booklet that included dietary and physical activity recommendations, were individually interviewed, and completed biophysical cardiovascular risk assessments at the Women's Health Center (Beijing, China). Women were encouraged to follow a healthy eating pattern and to increase their aerobic activity (moderate level, 3 d/wk, 40 min/d). Women in the control group continued their usual eating patterns and activities. Weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR), waist circumference (WC), body composition, blood pressure (BP), blood glucose, and serum lipids were assessed at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months in both groups.
Results: Women in the intervention group were observed to have significant decreases in weight, BMI, WC, WHR, systolic BP, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared with women in the control group. At 3 months, there were significant decreases in weight (-0.28 vs 0.68 kg, P = 0.002), BMI (-0.06 vs 0.44 kg/m2, P = 0.003), WC (-0.28 vs 1.43 cm, P = 0.001), and WHR (-0.01 vs 0.01, P = 0.045) in the intervention group compared with the control group. At 6 months, there were significant decreases in WC (-0.73 vs 1.02 cm, P = 0.012), WHR (-0.02 vs -0.003, P = 0.020), and systolic BP (-7.52 vs -0.63 mm Hg, P = 0.012) favoring the intervention group over the control group. At 12 months, there were significant decreases in total cholesterol (-0.07 vs 0.03 mmol/L, P = 0.045) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-0.13 vs 0.01 mmol/L, P = 0.022) in the intervention group versus the control group.
Conclusions: Lifestyle intervention may be an effective means for reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors in menopausal transition and early postmenopausal women in China.
(C) 2014 by The North American Menopause Society.