Objectives: The relationship between smoking cessation, subsequent weight gain, and cardiovascular disease risk factors from premenopause to postmenopause was studied.
Methods: Healthy Women Study participants were assessed for changes in coronary heart disease risk factors from a premenopausal baseline assessment to first- and second-year postmenopausal assessments.
Results: Although ex-smokers gained substantially more weight than nonsmokers and smokers, they did not experience a greater increase in cardiovascular risk factors. In fact, the results indicated a trend toward ex-smokers' high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increasing slightly more than those of nonsmokers and smokers.
Conclusions: Smoking cessation in perimenopausal to postmenopausal women is associated with greater weight gain but appears to be modestly associated with certain positive changes in cardiovascular risk factors.