Assessment of the BMI, WHR and W/Ht in pre- and postmenopausal women

Magdalena Skrzypczak 1 , Anita Szwed 1 , Romana Pawlińska-Chmara 2  and Violetta Skrzypulec 3
  • 1 Institute of Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
  • 2 Department of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, Opole University, Kardynała B. Kominka 4, 45-035 Opole, Poland
  • 3 Department of Women's Disease Prevention and Sexology, Medical University of Silesia, Medyków 12, 40-752 Katowice, Poland

Assessment of the BMI, WHR and W/Ht in pre- and postmenopausal women

The main goal of this study was to determine whether and how values of the BMI, WHR and W/Ht indicators change in pre- and postmenopausal women. The tested group consisted of 10,216 women aged 25-95 years. Data were collected during the national campaign "Fighting Obesity", organized by Hand-Prod Company between 2000-2002 across Poland, when adult women voluntarily filled in a questionnaire and participated in anthropometric measurements. The BMI, WHR and W/Ht values were calculated based on these measurements. The values of the BMI, WHR and W/Ht change with age. However, in each age group postmenopausal women have higher BMI, WHR and W/Ht than premenopausal women. Thus, the results obtained indicate that hormonal changes occurring in the climacterium period cause an increase in the analyzed index values. The BMI used herein is characterized by high accuracy in indicating obesity. Moreover, the WHR and W/Ht are also used as adiposity indicators, which may be useful in assessment of the risk of disease or death caused by hypertension, cardiac diseases, diabetes, or even cancers. However, they should not be used only in relation to obese women, because even a slight increase in visceral obesity, with body mass within normal limits, may contribute to unfavorable changes in the woman's metabolic profile, which in turn, may present a risk of illness.

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