Smoking Cessation, Weight Gain, and Changes in Cardiovascular Risk Factors During Menopause: The Healthy Women Study

Am J Public Health. 1998 Jan;88(1):93-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.1.93.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Menopause / blood
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenopause / blood
  • Premenopause / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Gain*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol