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Association between menopause status and central adiposity measured at different cutoffs of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio

Donato, Giovana B. MD, MS; Fuchs, Sandra C. MD, PhD; Oppermann, Karen PhD; Bastos, Carlos MD, MS; Spritzer, Poli Mara PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.gme.0000177907.32634.ae
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Objective: To assess the association between menopause status and central adiposity measured using two different cutoffs of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, while controlling for body mass index and other confounding factors.

Design: Cross-sectional study of a representative population-based sample of 358 women from Passo Fundo, Southern Brazil. Medical students performed standardized interviews and anthropometric measurements under supervision. Menopause status was categorized as premenopausal for those with no change in menstrual frequency or flow; menopause transition for those who had these changes; and postmenopausal after 12 months of amenorrhea or bilateral oophorectomy. Obesity was defined by body mass index (BMI) equal or greater than 30 kg/m2, whereas central adiposity was defined as a waist circumference equal or greater than 80 or 88 cm and a waist-to-hip-ratio equal or greater than 0.80 or 0.86.

Results: The anthropometric assessment showed that compared with postmenopausal women, premenopausal women were taller, had a thinner waist circumference, and had a lower waist-to-hip ratio. Postmenopausal women had five times the chance of having central adiposity than premenopausal women, even after controlling for BMI and other confounding factors. Women in the menopause transition had an increased BMI, but there was no independent association with central obesity.

Conclusion: Postmenopausal women are at greater risk of central adiposity as detected by both waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.

The association between menopause status and central obesity measured using two different cutoffs of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio was assessed in a population-based study of pretransition and postmenopausal women. The results show that the menopause transition accounts for an increase in body mass index, in that postmenopausal women had approximately five times the risk of having central obesity.

From the 1Postgraduate Program in Medicine: Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, RS, Brazil; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Passo Fundo University, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil; 3Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, RS, Brazil; and 4Gynecological Endocrinology Unit, Division of Endocrinology, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre and Department of Physiology, Institute of Health Basic Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, RS, Brazil.

Received April 14, 2005; revised and accepted July 5, 2005.

This study was supported in part by grants from Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa (CNPq).

Address correspondence to: Sandra Costa Fuchs, MD, PhD, Faculdade de Medicina, UFRGS, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2400 2º Andar, 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. E-mail: scfuchs@terra.com.br.

© 2006 by The North American Menopause Society.