The relationship between the menopausal transition (MT) and alterations in regional fat distribution is not well understood.The goal of the study was to see if the MT is related to the development of central adiposity. Longitudinal analysis from the 1996-2013 Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. 380 women were measured for regional body composition using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The average baseline age was 45.7 years, and the racial/ethnic makeup was 16% Black, 41% Japanese, and 43% White. Modifications in android, gynoid, and visceral fat, as well as waist and hip circumferences. During pre menopause and the MT, android fat rose by 1.21 percent per year (py) and 5.54 percent py, respectively. Visceral and gynoid fat levels began to rise at the MT, with annualised increases of 6.24 percent and 2.03 percent, respectively. Postmenopausal yearly trajectories slowed to 1.47 percent, 0.90 percent, and -0.87 percent, respectively. During pre menopause, the MT, and postmenopause, the waist girth increased. During pre menopause and the MT, hip girth increased and then decelerated to zero slope in postmenopause. The results are for the White referent; several trajectories in Black and Japanese women had statistically significant variations.

The MT has been linked to the development of central obesity. Circumferences of the waist and hips are less responsive to changes in fat distribution.