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Relation of Age at Menarche to Race, Time Period, and Anthropometric Dimensions: The Bogalusa Heart Study

Relation of Age at Menarche to Race, Time Period, and Anthropometric Dimensions: The Bogalusa Heart Study,David S. Freedman,Laura Kettel Khan,Mary K.

Relation of Age at Menarche to Race, Time Period, and Anthropometric Dimensions: The Bogalusa Heart Study   (Citations: 28)
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Objective. To assess secular trends in menarcheal age between 1973 and 1994 and to determine whether childhood levels of height, weight, and skinfold thicknesses can account for racial (white/black) differ- ences in menarcheal age. Methods. Data from 7 cross-sectional examinations of school-aged children, with menarcheal age obtained through interviews, were used for both cross-sectional (11 218 observations) and longitudinal (n 2058) analy- ses. In the latter analyses, the baseline examination was performed between ages 5.0 and 9.9 years, and the mean follow-up was 6 years. Results. Black girls experienced menarche, on aver- age, 3 months earlier than did white girls (12.3 vs 12.6 years), and during the 20-year study period, the median menarcheal age decreased by approximately 9.5 months among black girls versus approximately 2 months among white girls. As compared with 5- to 9-year-old white girls, black girls were taller and weighed more, characteristics that were predictive of a relatively early (before age 11.0 years) menarche. However, even after adjustment for weight, height, and other characteristics, the rate of early menarche remained 1.4-fold higher among black girls than among white girls. Conclusions. Additional study of the determinants of menarcheal age is needed, as the timing of pubertal mat- uration may influence the risk of various diseases in adulthood. Pediatrics 2002;110(4). URL: http://www. pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/110/4/e43; menarche, obesity, blacks, height, secular trend.
Published in 2010.
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