Core body temperature is lower in postmenopausal women than premenopausal women: potential implications for energy metabolism and midlife weight gain

Cardiovasc Endocrinol. 2016 Dec;5(4):151-154. doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000078.


Objective: Weight gain during the menopausal transition is common. Although studies have suggested that weight gain is more likely related to aging than menopause, there is a reduction in resting energy expenditure with surgical or natural menopause which is independent of age and changes in body composition. The underlying mechanisms could include a reduction in core body temperature.

Methods: Data were obtained from two related studies. Sample size was 23 men and 25 women (12 premenopausal,13 postmenopausal). In the Clinical Research Unit, core temperature was measured every minute for 24 hours (CorTemp System,HQ Inc.).

Results: Mean 24-hour core body temperature was 0.25 ± 0.06 °C lower in postmenopausal than premenopausal women (p=0.001). Mean 24-hour core temperature was 0.34 ± 0.05 °C lower in men than in premenopausal women (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Postmenopausal women, like men, had lower core body temperatures than premenopausal women. This may have implications for midlife weight gain.

Keywords: menopause; metabolism; obesity; temperature; weight; women.