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OBJECTIVE: A putative link between abdominal obesity and metabolic-vascular complications after menopause may be due to a decreased adipose tissue blood flow (ATBF). The present work aimed to analyze possible changes in ATBF with being overweight and menopausal and its putative link to endothelial dysfunction and autonomic nervous system balance. METHODS: Forty-three healthy women were classified into four groups according to weight and menopause status. The ATBF was measured by xenon washout while fasting and after oral glucose intake. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine was used as a marker of endothelial function and heart rate variability-estimated autonomic nervous system activity. RESULTS: Fasting ATBF was decreased in both overweight groups (P = 0.044 and P = 0.048) versus normal-weight premenopausal women. Normal-weight and overweight postmenopausal women exhibited lower maximum ATBF compared with normal-weight premenopausal women (P = 0.015 and P = 0.001, respectively), and overweight postmenopausal women exhibited lower maximum ATBF compared with normal-weight postmenopausal women (P = 0.003). A negative correlation was found between fasting ATBF and asymmetric dimethylarginine (P = 0.015), whereas maximum ATBF was negatively associated with sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous system balance (ratio of the power of the low frequency to the power of the high frequency; P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Loss of ATBF flexibility in overweight postmenopausal women may contribute to the metabolic dysfunction seen in this group of women.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





365 - 371


Adult, Aged, Amidohydrolases, Autonomic Nervous System, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Middle Aged, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Obesity, Abdominal, Overweight, Postmenopause, Regional Blood Flow, Subcutaneous Fat, Thyroid Hormones