Menopausal transition and changes of body composition: A prospective study in Chinese perimenopausal women

S. C. Ho, S. Wu, S. G. Chan, A. Sham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objectives: Whether age or menopause per se influences fat distribution remains controversial. This study aimed to investigate the change of body composition, particularly body fat distribution, in relation to menopausal transition in a 30-month prospective study of perimenopausal women.Methods:A total of 438 community-based healthy women aged 44-55 years participated in the Hong Kong Perimenopausal Women Osteoporosis Study. Data were obtained at baseline, and at 9-, 18-and 30-month during the follow-up. Soft tissue measurements consisting of fat mass and lean muscle mass of the trunk and whole body were obtained by the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Percentage change of body measurements over the follow-up period was compared between women who remained premenopausal, those who went through menopausal transition, and those who were menopausal since baseline.Results:A slight decrease in the lean mass but an increase in the total fat mass and trunk fat mass (TFM) over the follow-up period were noted. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that age was negatively associated with an increase in central obesity. Adjusted for the important predictorsage, age of menarche and education level, menopausal status was a significant and independent predictor of the decrease in lean mass and the increase in percent of body fat, TFM and trunk-leg fat mass ratio.Conclusion:Our 30-month longitudinal study showed that menopause has an independent effect on an increase in fat mass, and an increase in central obesity in perimenopausal Chinese women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1274
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • body composition
  • body fat
  • menopausal transition
  • trunk fat mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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