OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the inter-relationships of age- and menopause-related changes of general obesity and body fat distribution and their independent effects on cardiovascular risk factors. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: One-hundred and thirty-six premenopausal and 193 postmenopausal Chinese women with body mass index (BMI) <30 kg/m2. MEASUREMENTS: Anthropometric surrogates of general obesity (BMI, total body fat percentage) and central obesity (waist-to-hip ratio, centrality index) were measured. Blood pressure, 75g oral glucose tolerance test, glycosylated hemoglobin A(1c) and lipid profiles were also measured. RESULTS: Significant correlation coefficients between age, general obesity, central obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors were noted. Through the menopausal transition, the BMI and total body fat percentage were increased significantly. After adjustments for age and BMI, the postmenopausal women showed higher android fat percentage, centrality index, glycosylated hemoglobin A(1c), serum concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and atherogenic indices than the premenopausal women. In multiple stepwise regression models, age exerted independent effects on oral glucose tolerance test 2 h plasma glucose level, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol level, and LDL cholesterol. Menopause was an independent variable in relation to the changes of glycosylated hemoglobin A(1c), total and LDL cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and atherogenic indices. The centrality index was the major independent variable of all the cardiovascular disease risk factors, except total and LDL cholesterol level. However, the variation of total body fat percentage had no independent effect on any cardiovascular disease risk factors. CONCLUSION: Through the aging and menopausal effects, women will increase total body fat content, favoring the central body fat distribution. Age, menopause and central obesity were all independent and significant factors to the cardiovascular disease risk factors in Chinese women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics