Adipokines, adiposity, and vasomotor symptoms during the menopause transition: findings from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

Among 536 midlife women assessed annually over 8 years, an adverse adipokine profile was associated with more vasomotor symptoms, particularly hot flashes, early in the menopause transition.


Rebecca C. Thurston, Ph.D., Yuefang Chang, Ph.D., Peter Mancuso, Ph.D., Karen A. Matthews, Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 3, Pages 793-800.e1, September 2013



To test relationships between adipokines, adiposity, and vasomotor symptoms (VMS), including how these associations vary by menopause stage.


A subcohort of the longitudinal cohort Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation completed questionnaires, physical measures, and a fasting blood draw annually for 8 years. Associations between a poorer adipokine profile (lower adiponectin, lower high-molecular-weight [HMW] adiponectin, higher leptin, lower soluble leptin receptor, higher monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1]) and VMS were tested with the use of generalized estimating equations adjusting for potential confounders. Interactions by menopause stage (pre-/early perimenopause, late peri-/postmenopause) were tested.




A total of 536 women ages 42–52 at baseline.



Main Outcome Measure(s):



Associations between adipokines and hot flashes varied by menopause stage, with a poorer adipokine profile associated with higher odds of hot flashes early in the transition (adiponectinlog: odds ratio [OR] 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51–0.90; HMW adiponectinlog: OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.58–0.85; leptinlog: OR 1.23, 95% CI 0.99–1.54; multivariable models including body mass index [BMI]), but not later in the transition. The direction of associations between BMI and VMS also varied by menopausal stage. Higher MCP-1 was associated with more night sweats (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.06–1.76) across menopausal stages.


An adverse adipokine profile was associated with more VMS, particularly early in the menopause transition.

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