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