Associations of nationality and race with nutritional status during perimenopause: Implications for public health practice

Terese E. Maitland, Orlando Gómez-Marìn, Dian O. Weddle, Lora E. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine associations of nationality and race with anthropometry, self-reported nutrient intakes, health history, and socioeconomic status (SES) of perimenopausal (age 40-55 years) Floridians. Design: Interviewer conducted cross-sectional survey. Setting: South Florida, 2000-2001. Participants: Convenience sample of 109 Black (Caribbean [n = 31] and African-American [n = 25]), and White (n = 53) women with intact ovaries and uteri. Main Outcome Measures: Nutrient intakes and anthropometry. Results: Both races had similar mean age, education, SES, reported heavy menses, and physician-diagnosed iron deficiency anemia. Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) were unmet for calcium (67%) and iron (35%) and exceeded for energy (28%). A decade of decreased milk (61%) and red meat (69%) consumption, key micronutrient sources, was reported. Significantly more Blacks exceeded anthropometric recommendations (P=.01); more African Americans exceeded energy DRIs even after controlling for body mass index (P=.006). More Whites exceeded calcium DRIs (P=.04) and reported self-diagnosed depression (P=.001). More Caribbean-born (P<.05) met fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, and fiber recommendations. Conclusion: Reported suboptimal iron and calcium intakes coupled with bone demineralization and heavier menses, characteristic of perimenopause, could heighten osteoporosis and anemia risks. Reports that more Whites were depressed and more Caribbean-born persons met dietary recommendations, even though anthropometrics and BMI-adjusted energy intakes among Blacks exceeded recommendations, have possible public health implications. As more "baby-boomers" reach this age, findings highlight the need for culturally appropriate interventions, eg, nutrition education that emphasizes relationships between nutrient and energy needs and the composition of foods consumed by various ethnicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropometry
  • Caribbean
  • Nutrient intakes
  • Perimenopause
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)


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