BACKGROUND. The relation between the menopause transition (MT) and changes in body composition or weight remains uncertain. We hypothesized that, independent of chronological aging, the MT would have a detrimental influence on body composition. METHODS. Participants were from the longitudinal Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) cohort. We assessed body composition by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Multivariable mixed effects regressions fitted piece-wise linear models to repeated measures of outcomes as a function of time before or after the final menstrual period (FMP). Covariates were age at FMP, race, study site, and hormone therapy. RESULTS. Fat and lean mass increased prior to the MT. At the start of the MT, rate of fat gain doubled, and lean mass declined; gains and losses continued until 2 years after the FMP. After that, the trajectories of fat and lean mass decelerated to zero slope. Weight climbed linearly during premenopause without acceleration at the MT. Its trajectory became flat after the MT. CONCLUSION. Accelerated gains in fat mass and losses of lean mass are MT-related phenomena. The rate of increase in the sum of fat mass and lean mass does not differ between premenopause and the MT; thus, there is no discernable change in rate of weight gain at the start of the MT. FUNDING. NIH, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Nursing Research, and NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (U01NR004061, U01AG012505, U01AG012535, U01AG012531, U01AG012539, U01AG012546, U01AG012553, U01AG012554, and U01AG012495).
Gail A. Greendale, Barbara Sternfeld, MeiHua Huang, Weijuan Han, Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, Kristine Ruppert, Jane A. Cauley, Joel S. Finkelstein, Sheng-Fang Jiang, Arun S. Karlamangla
This file is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. If you have not installed and configured the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system.
PDFs are designed to be printed out and read, but if you prefer to read them online, you may find it easier if you increase the view size to 125%.
Many versions of the free Acrobat Reader do not allow Save. You must instead save the PDF from the JCI Online page you downloaded it from. PC users: Right-click on the Download link and choose the option that says something like "Save Link As...". Mac users should hold the mouse button down on the link to get these same options.