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Belly fat or visceral fat is major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in middle aged women. Recent studies have discovered that the main culprit is most likely not age, but the changes in testosterone levels that occurs during menopausal transition.

Imke Janssen, PhD, assistant professor of preventive medicine and the study’s lead investigator, says, ” Of all factors we analyzed that could possibly responsible for visceral fat during menopause, levels of testosterone proved to be one most closely linked with belly fat.”belly fat

A study was conducted including 359 women ages 42 to 60 and in menopausal transition, about half white and half black. Fat in the abdominal cavity was measured with CT scans, a more precise measurement than waist size.

Blood tests were used to assess levels of testosterone and estradiol (the main form of estrogen).  Medical histories covered other health factors possibly linked with an increase in visceral fat.

Read more at Rush University Medical Center