ESPE Abstracts (2015) 84 P-3-985

Age at Menarche in Chronic Respiratory Disease: Cystic Fibrosis and Asthma - Comparison with a Large Cohort of Healthy Girls Living in Verona

Rossella Gaudinoa, Sonia Volpib, Sarah Dal Bena, Claudia Pionaa, Paolo Cavarzerec, Attilio Bonera & Franco Antoniazzia


aDepartment of Life and Reproduction Sciences, Paediatric Clinic, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; bVerona Regional Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Verona, Italy; cPediatrics, O.C.M., Verona, Italy


Background: Menarche is a milestone in human sexual development as it denotes the achievement of fertility. Few studies have evaluated the age at menarche (AAM) in chronic respiratory disease.

Objective: The main aim of this study is to investigate AAM and menarcheal determinants in girls affected by Cystic Fibrosis or Asthma, and to compare their AAM with healthy girls’ one.

Subjects and method: The study was conducted on 1207 girls living in Verona aged 11–24: 1062 healthy girls, 47 girls affected by Cystic Fibrosis and 98 asthmatic girls. Data collection was done using self-administered questionnaires about AAM. There were two types of questionnaire: one for healthy and asthmatic girls, and the other one for girls affected by cystic fibrosis. Girls with asthma was also administered an asthma control test (ACT).

Results: The average AAM among girls affected by cystic fibrosis (FC) (n. 36) is 13.24±1.44 significantly higher (P<0.0001) than healthy girls’ average MA 12.49±1.2 years. Also asthmatic girls (n. 86) experienced delayed menarche compared with the healthy ones (P<0.05): the average MA among girls affected by asthma is 12.79±3.0 years.

Conclusion: The basis of delayed menarche among patients affected by chronic diseases is multifactorial. We analysed many variables such as Asthma severity, type of mutation in FC, chronic infection and pancreatic insufficiency. None of these explains delayed menarche in girls with chronic respiratory disease. Chronic inflammation and malnutrition seem to be the main causes of delayed onset of menarche. The issue of growth and puberty in children affected chronic respiratory disease requires further investigation.

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