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The associations of childhood adiposity with menopausal symptoms in women aged 45-49 years: An Australian Cohort Study


He, Y and Tian, J and Oddy, WH and Blizzard, L and Dwyer, T and Hickey, M and Venn, AJ, The associations of childhood adiposity with menopausal symptoms in women aged 45-49 years: An Australian Cohort Study, Maturitas, 143 pp. 81-88. ISSN 0378-5122 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.09.008


Objectives: To examine the associations of childhood adiposity with menopausal symptoms in women aged 45-49 years.

Study design: National population-based cohort study of 334 girls prospectively followed from childhood (aged 11-15) through to midlife (aged 45-49). Childhood overweight and obesity were defined by international age- and sex-specific standards for body mass index (BMI), and abdominal obesity was defined as waist/height ratio≥0.5.

Main outcome measures: Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), vaginal dryness, total menopausal symptoms and domain-specific symptoms (somatic, psychological and urogenital) were measured during 2018-19 using the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and classified as none, mild, moderate or severe.

Results: The prevalence of mild, moderate and severe VMS was 24.0 %, 9.0 % and 3.9 %, and of vaginal dryness was 12.6 %, 4.8 % and 2.4 %. No significant associations of childhood overweight/obesity or abdominal obesity with VMS or vaginal dryness were found after adjustment for childhood age, follow-up length, smoking, socioeconomic status and diet quality. Childhood overweight/obesity was associated with increased risks of more severe total (RR:1.17, 95 % CI:1.02-1.36), psychological (RR:1.19, 95 % CI:1.04-1.35) and urogenital (RR:1.29, 95 % CI:1.14-1.46) symptoms measured using the MRS. Associations with childhood abdominal obesity were mostly stronger with more severe total (RR:2.19, 95 % CI:1.48-3.23), somatic (RR:1.52, 95 % CI:1.15-2.02), psychological (RR:1.21, 95 % CI:1.04-1.42) and urogenital (RR:2.11, 95 % CI:1.39-3.20) symptoms.

Conclusions: Childhood adiposity was not associated with increased risks of more severe VMS or vaginal dryness in women aged 45-49 years. Childhood adiposity, especially abdominal obesity, was associated with more severe total, somatic, psychological and urogenital symptoms. However, the association between these symptoms and menopause is not established.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:childhood adiposity, menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness, vasomotor symptoms
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Reproductive medicine
Research Field:Obstetrics and gynaecology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:He, Y (Ms Ye He)
UTAS Author:Tian, J (Dr Jing Tian)
UTAS Author:Oddy, WH (Professor Wendy Oddy)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:143484
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-03-19
Last Modified:2021-04-26

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