INTRODUCTION Menopause induces redistribution of fat mass and development of abdominal obesity, increasing risk for metabolic syndrome (MS) by 60%. Related cardiovascular diseases become a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women after fifty years of age. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of gaining weight on components of MS in the menopause. METHOD The study included 50 obese women, BMI=31.92± 5.83 kg/m2, age 54.40±3.64, time since menopause 5.90±5.46 years, and 37 normal weight women, BMI=23.50±2.13 kg/m2, age 53.92±3.95, time since menopause 5.96±4.92 years. Both groups were divided according to the presence of MS into two subgroups. Anthropometric characteristics and blood pressure were measured. Blood was taken at 8 am for the following: fasting glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, apolipoprotein A (ApoA), apolipoprotein B (ApoB), lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, FSH, LH, prolactin, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and sex hormonebinding globulin (SHBG). RESULTS 66% of obese women had MS compared with 22% normal weight women. Significant differences between groups were found for the following: weight, BMI, waist, hip circumference, waist/hip ratio, diastolic blood pressure, Lp(a), FSH, LH, prolactin (all p<0.01) and fasting glucose (p<0.05). Obese women with and without MS were significantly diverse for the following: waist/hip ratio, systolic blood pressure and fasting glucose (all p<0.01); age, BMI, waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL, Lp(a) and SHBG (all p<0.05). Normal weight women with and without MS had significantly different values of waist/hip ratio, systolic, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides (all p<0.01); HDL and testosterone (p<0.05). Significant differences were found between obese and normal weight women with MS in anthropometric characteristics, ApoA, Lp(a), fibrinogen (all p<0.01) and FSH (p<0.05). CONCLUSION Abdominal obesity significantly increases incidence of MS as a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors in the menopause.