It is observed in a cross-sectional study encompassing general Korean population that prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome is high among hypertensive women. Notably, there is a marked increase in the prevalence of obesity in women in their 5th and 6th decades which may correspond to the period of menopause. In fact, obesity might contribute substantially to hypertension in perimenopausal women. We investigated the relationship between hypertension, menopause, and obesity in perimenopausal women in Korea. In addition, we also studied the clinical implication of metabolic syndrome in these subjects.Design and Method:
We collected data of 5275 women registered in Ansung-Ansan Cohort, surveyed between April 2005 and November 2006, a 3rd follow-up from the baseline. Of these, 1343 premenopausal and postmenopausal women aged 47.8 ± 5.3 years (mean ± standard deviation) were investigated in this study.Results:
The prevalence of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes was significantly higher in postmenopausal than premenopausal women (24.6% vs. 16.4%, 51.7% vs. 38.9%, and 13.3% vs. 6.5%, respectively). Postmenopausal women were older (47.6 ± 2.4 vs. 45.1 ± 1.9 years [p < 0.01]) and had higher blood pressure (112.8 ± 15.1/76.4 ± 9.6 vs. 109.0 ± 13.9/73.9 ± 10.3 mmHg [p < 0.0001]). There was no significant difference between postmenopausal women and their counterparts in body mass index (BMI) (24.9 ± 2.9 vs. 24.8 ± 3.1 kg/m2 [p = 0.554]), but postmenopausal women had larger waist circumference (82.8 ± 8.8 vs. 80.7 ± 8.5 cm [p < 0.0001]). In multivariate regression analysis, menopause was significantly associated with hypertension (hazard ratio 1.318, confidence interval 1.010–1.718 [p = 0.007]), after adjusting age, BMI, and waist circumference. However, when metabolic syndrome was included in the analysis, the significant contribution of menopause became attenuated.Conclusions:
Postmenopausal women had higher prevalence of hypertension. Even after adjustment for age, BMI, and waist circumference, menopause elevated the risk of hypertension by 30%. This increase might be explained by high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.