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Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 42;

Association of Mid-Life Changes in Body Size, Body Composition and Obesity Status with the Menopausal Transition

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Departments of Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sampath Parthasarathy
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
PDF [247 KB, uploaded 13 July 2016]


The mid-life period is a critical window for increases in body weight and changes in body composition. In this review, we summarize the clinical experience of the menopausal transition by obesity status, and examine the evidence regarding the menopausal transition and reproductive hormones effects on body weight, body composition, or fat distribution. Mid-life obesity is associated with a different menopausal experience including associations with menstrual cycle length prior to the final menstrual period (FMP), age at the FMP, and higher prevalence of vasomotor symptoms. The menopausal transition is associated with weight gain and increased central body fat distribution; the majority of evidence suggests that changes in weight are due to chronological aging whereas changes in body composition and fat distribution are primarily due to ovarian aging. Continuous and regular physical activity during mid-life may be an efficacious strategy to counteract the age-related and menopause-related changes in resting energy expenditure and to prevent weight gain and abdominal adiposity deposition. View Full-Text
Keywords: women; menopause; obesity; weight; body composition women; menopause; obesity; weight; body composition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Karvonen-Gutierrez, C.; Kim, C. Association of Mid-Life Changes in Body Size, Body Composition and Obesity Status with the Menopausal Transition. Healthcare 2016, 4, 42.

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