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Body Mass Index, Fat Percentage Predict Menses Resumption

Both BMI, fat percentage are positive predictors for women with a history of anorexia nervosa

woman measuring her waist

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with a history of anorexia nervosa, both body mass index and fat percentage can predict resumption of the menstrual cycle, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Laura Al-Dakhiel Winkler, M.D., from Odense University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the correlation between body composition measures and menstrual status in 113 women with a history of anorexia nervosa. Participants underwent a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and completed questionnaires relating to medication prescription and menstrual function.

The researchers found that 50 percent of participants were expected to resume menstrual function at a body mass index of 19 kg/m² or a fat percentage of 23 percent. The expected resumption of menstrual function was at a body mass index of 14 kg/m² or a fat percentage of 11 percent for 25 percent of participants. Prediction of resumption of menses was equivalent for body mass index and fat percentage.

"Fat percentage and body mass index were positive predictors of the resumption of menses; however, body composition measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry was not superior to body mass index in predicting menstrual recovery, which is of great clinical relevance as body mass index is easier and cheaper to obtain," the authors write.

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