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Determination of the mean age at menarche and factors affecting menarche in girls in Isparta

Keywords: Age at menarche , affecting factors , Turkish children

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Aim: To determine the mean age at menarche (MAM), factors affecting menarche and menstrual cycle properties of girls living in Isparta.Material and Method: After obtaining approval from The Ethics Committee, 948 girls who had menarche and attended 7 primary and 3 high schools were included in the study. All participants were given questionnaire forms which queried the MAM of their own and their members family and menstrual cycle properties, life style, nutritional properties and socio-economical status. The Children were asked to fill out the forms with their parents. Weight and height measurements were made by using standard devices and body mass index was calculated. In addition, breast development of all subjects were evaluated according to Tanner Classification. Results: The MAM were determined as 12.6 ± 0.03 years. The MAM values of the participants were found to be significantly lower than the MAM values of the mothers and elder sisters. There was a positive correlation between the age at menarche of individuals and both their mothers and elder sisters. A negative correlation was found between the age at menarche and body mass index values of the subjects. -2 and +2 SDS values for the age at menarche were found 10.6 and 14.7 years, respectively. No menarche was observed in any individual with Tanner breast stages 1 and 2; menarche was detected in 16.8 % of the subjects with Tanner stage 3 and 50.8 % of the subjects with Tanner stage 4. The season of the menarche was winter and summer in most of the subjects. 62.1 % of the participants expressed that their menstrual cycle was irregular. The rate of the complaint of irregular menstrual cycle was significantly higher in girls having menstruation less than 3 years. Conclusions: These results show a shift to earlier ages in the MAM when the MAM values of the mothers and elder sisters are taken into consideration and indicate that the age limits for the menarche of Turkish children need to be reevaluated. (Turk Arch Ped 2008; 43: 50-4)

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