Research Article| Volume 17, ISSUE 3, P167-180, November 1993

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Relations between anthropometric characteristics and degree of severity of the climacteric syndrome in Austrian women

  • S. Kirchengast
    Correspondence to: Mag Dr Sylvia Kirchengast, Johann Straußgasse 20, A-3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria.
    Institute for Human Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna Austria
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      The connection between body-shape characteristics, namely distribution of subcutaneous fat, and the occurrence of psychic and somatic climacteric symptoms was investigated in 142 postmenopausal women from Eastern Austria. It was found that both psychic and somatic symptoms are significantly related to body-shape characteristics. With increasing breadth and circumference, i.e. a higher proportion of subcutaneous fat, the degree of severity of several symptoms increases, with the exception of hot flushes and sweating, dizziness, headache and palpitation. Since, in the climacteric, subcutaneous fat has a positive impact on the secretion of oestrogens and thus on climacteric symptoms, the results of the present study may be interpreted as an effect of the psychosocial stress to which corpulent women are exposed in our society because they do not fit the beauty ideal typical of our culture.


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