RATIONALE: Menopause is associated with changes in sex hormones, which affect immunity, inflammation, and osteoporosis and may impair lung function. Lung function decline has not previously been investigated in relation to menopause. OBJECTIVES: To study whether lung function decline, assessed by forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second, is accelerated in women who undergo menopause. METHODS: The population-based longitudinal European Community Respiratory Health Survey provided serum samples, spirometry and questionnaire data about respiratory and reproductive health from three study waves (N=1438). We measured follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone and added information on menstrual patterns, to determine menopausal status using latent class analysis. Associations with lung function decline were investigated using linear mixed effects models, adjusting for age, height, weight, packyears, current smoking, age at completed full-time education, spirometer and including study center as random effect. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Menopausal status was associated with accelerated lung function decline. The adjusted mean forced vital capacity decline was increased by -10.2 ml/yr (95% Confidence interval -13.1 to -7.2) in transitional women and -12.5 ml/yr (-16.2 to -8.9) in postmenopausal women, compared to women menstruating regularly. The adjusted mean forced expiratory volume in one second decline increased by -3.8 ml/yr (-6.3 to -2.9) in transitional women and -5.2 ml/yr (-8.3 to -2.0) in postmenopausal women. CONCLUSIONS: Lung function declined more rapidly among transitional and postmenopausal women, in particular for forced vital capacity, beyond the expected age change. Clinicians should be aware that respiratory health often deteriorates during reproductive aging.