OBJECTIVE - To examine whether certain sociodemographic, behavioral, and reproductive factors are associated with an increased weight gain in Chinese women.
DESIGN - Baseline survey data, including recalled past weight and measured current weight, from an ongoing prospective cohort study conducted in Shanghai, China.
SUBJECTS - The analytical sample included 75 039 nonpregnant women aged 40-70 y.
MEASUREMENTS - Statistical associations between certain sociodemographic, behavioral, and reproductive factors and weight gain were evaluated using multiple linear and logistic regression models.
RESULTS - Weight gain and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) increased with age among pre- and postmenopausal women before age 55 y. Weight gain declined but WHR continued rising as aging among postmenopausal women over age 55 y. Lower education levels, more parity and earlier age at the first birth, and earlier menarcheal age were associated with a higher long-term weight gain and current body weight.
CONCLUSION - Age, education levels, parity, age at the first live birth, and menarcheal age were associated with long-term weight gain in Chinese women. However, these results concerning weight gain are based on recalled past weight and should be interpreted with caution. Further studies are needed to clarify the association of weight gain with lifestyle factors suggested by this study.