Weight, body composition and fat distribution changes of Czech women in the different reproductive phases: a longitudinal study
Prague Medical Report
Women tend to gain weight with age, especially fat mass which shows also regional changes. A cross-sectional study was done on 213 Czech women with the conclusion that there is a progressive weight increase up to the menopause, an increase in absolute and relative fat contribution and fat centralisation up to the postmenopause and these changes seemed to occur even before the weight increase occurs. The same cohort was examined the same way after 3 years for further analysis. The aim was the
... The aim was the assessment of weight gain, body composition and fat distribution changes in four age groups representing the reproductive phases in Czech women in 3-year period. 146 healthy Czech women aged 20-65 were classified according to four reproductive phases: fully reproductive women (n=34, mean age 26.96, SD 4.47), pre-menopausal women (n=34, mean age 42.23, SD 2.78), menopausal women (n=45, mean age 51.56, SD 2.61) and postmenopausal women (n=33, mean age 59.55, SD 2.82). Body weight, body composition and fat distribution were determined using classical anthropometric methods in 2000 and 2003. BMI increased significantly in all the groups except for the premenopausal group and was the greatest in the menopausal group. Increase in fat percentage was significant in the fully reproductive (p < 0.001) and menopausal women (p < 0.001), there was no change in the postmenopausal group. Waist, WHR, hip and subgluteal thigh circumference increase significantly in the menopausal group (p < 0.01, p < 0.05, p < 0.05, p < 0.001 respectively). The highest mean values of waist, WHR and even abdominal circumference remain in the postmenopausal group. Changes of all 14 skinfolds and the sum of the peripheral and central skinfolds are shown; the sum of peripheral skinfolds shows the same values at the end of the study while the sum of central skinfolds increases from the fully reproductive to the postmenopausal women. These results permit us to state the following conclusions: the greatest weight gain in the menopausal group suggests weight gain acceleration around menopause. Body fat mass increase terminates in the early postmenopause. Fat centralisation was proved in the menopausal women with still preserved fat deposition in the gluteofemoral area, which was also apparent in the postmenopausal group, however, the postmenopausal women show the highest values of central fat indicators.