Aim: A decline in the age at menarche has been reported in recent years in several well-off populations. The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased during the last decades with some levelling off during the last years. The aim of the present study was to study the association between parameters of overweight and menarche in Norway.
Material: Cross-sectional data from The Bergen Growth Study, collected in 20032006 from 4016 girls aged 019 years, were analysed.
Results: The mean age at menarche in the study population was 13.2 years. Girls with overweight (International Obesity Task Force definitions) had menarche at a mean age of 12.7 years, those with obesity at a mean age of 11.5 years. Analysis of subscapular skinfold thickness (SSF), triceps skinfold thickness (TSF), and waist circumference (WC) did show similar negative correlation, with SSF showing the strongest correlation (−0.38). The relatively low number of individuals with overweight or obesity did not influence the mean age at menarche in the whole group compared to non-overweight, non-obese girls.
Conclusions: Different overweight-related anthropometric traits showed a strong negative correlation with age at menarche. Mean age at menarche might be affected in populations with high prevalence of overweight and obesity.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology