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Dietary macro- and micronutrient intakes of nonsupplemented pre- and postmenopausal women with a perspective on menopause-associated diseases

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Abstract Objectives 

To assess the dietary intakes and diet quality of menopausal women relative to premenopausal women, and to determine whether their diets are compatible with reducing risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and osteoporosis. Design 

Cross-sectional study using 3-day food records and anthropometric measurements. Subjects 

Thirty apparently healthy, nonoestrogen using and nonsupplemented women menopausal since 3–5 years and 30 well-matched premenopausal women. Outcome measures 

Nutrient intakes, diet nutrient density, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and serum oestradiol. Results 

Energy intake and body weight of pre- and postmenopausal women were comparable. Their BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratios were within healthy ranges. The diet of postmenopausal women was compatible (less total lipids and saturated fatty acids; more fibres, antioxidant vitamins and potassium) with North American nutritional recommendations linked to cardiovascular health. Their dietary iron intakes exceeded their reduced physiological need, which may jeopardize their cardiovascular system. Their calcium and vitamin D intakes were far below recommendations for healthy bones. Five other nutrients were also suboptimal. Phosphorus intake (high in both groups) correlated with dietary proteins, sulphur amino acids and calcium. Conclusions 

The diet of the postmenopausal women studied were more compatible with national nutritional recommendations than that of premenopausal controls. However, these postmenopausal women, not taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and having inadequate dietary calcium and vitamin D intakes, may be at increased risk of osteoporotic fracture later in life. More studies on CVD risk inherent to body iron accumulation involving a large number of postmenopausal women are warranted before planning public health measures regarding dietary iron intake.
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Keywords: cardiovascular disease; dietary nutrient intakes; menopause; osteoporosis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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