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Core body temperature is lower in postmenopausal women than premenopausal women: potential implications for energy metabolism and midlife weight gain

Neff, Lisa M.; Hoffmann, Mindy E.; Zeiss, Dinah M.; Lowry, Katherine; Edwards, Monica; Rodriguez, Sarah M.; Wachsberg, Kelley N.; Kushner, Robert; Landsberg, Lewis

doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000078
Short Report

Objective Weight gain during the menopausal transition is common. Although studies have suggested that weight gain is more likely related to aging than menopause, there is a reduction in resting energy expenditure with surgical or natural menopause that is independent of age and changes in body composition. The underlying mechanisms could include a reduction in core body temperature.

Methods Data were obtained from two related studies. Sample size was 23 men and 25 women (12 premenopausal, 13 postmenopausal). In the Clinical Research Unit, core temperature was measured every minute for 24 h using an ingested temperature sensor.

Results The mean 24-h core body temperature was 0.25±0.06°C lower in postmenopausal than premenopausal women (P=0.001). The mean 24 h core temperature was 0.34±0.05°C lower in men than in premenopausal women (P<0.001).

Conclusion Postmenopausal women, like men, had lower core body temperatures than premenopausal women. This may have implications for midlife weight gain.

aNorthwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity

bDepartment of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago

cDepartment of Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, USA

* Lisa M. Neff and Mindy E. Hoffmann contributed equally to the writing of this article.

This work was presented in part in abstract form at the Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, June 2014.

Correspondence to Lisa Neff, MD, MS, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 645 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 530-30, Chicago, IL 60611, USA Tel: +1 312 503 3267; fax: +1 312 926 8693; e-mail:

Received January 4, 2016

Accepted March 29, 2016

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