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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The objective of this study is to estimate the trend in age at menarche in the Korean female and evaluate the relationship between age at menarche and adult body mass index BMIwhich is a indicator of later-life health. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample self-reported age at menarche and measured height and weight of 11, females aged 15 and older. We found a statistically ificant decline in age at menarche in successive birth groups, indicating a 0. The age at menarche in year birth group was We also found a ificant negative association between age at menarche and current BMI.

A one-year decrease in age at menarche was associated with mean BMI increase of 0. We found that age at menarche is still falling in the Korean female. We also found that early menarche is a risk factor for obesity in adults. Age at menarche is a key maturity indicator of female development, and it is known to reflect population health 1. For example, an early menarche is a risk factor for cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality 23. In Korea like other Western countries, a decrease in age at menarche over time has been consistently observed until midth century birth cohorts, probably because of improvements in nutrition 45.

Despite the similar secular change, the magnitude of decreasing rate of age at menarche is not consistently observed in all studies 16. This might be due to that age at menarche is known to be influenced by various factors such as ethnicity, nutrition status, geography, and socioeconomic status 6 - In western countries, the downward trend in age at menarche had stopped near However, the age at menarche was continuously decreased until in Korea 5. Several studies have established an association between early menarche and the risk of obesity and other chronic disease such as cancers, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes 2316 - However, population-based studies about the association between age at menarche and obesity in adult female are lacking even though Korean also had high prevalence associations are exists between age at menarche and current adult BMI in a nationally representative population.

Obesity is also well known important risk of other chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes including Korean The aim of this study is: 1 to assess whether secular trend of age at menarche in Korean female still exists comparing Korean studies; and 2 to investigate whether the associations are exists between age at menarche and current adult BMI in a nationally representative population.

We select 11, female aged older than 15 years among 31, individuals. Among them, 9, subjects Age at menarche was defined as age at the first menstrual period. This information was gained from the questionnaire. The question was open-ended: "At what age did you have your first menstrual period menarche?

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Weight was determined to the nearest 0. Body mass index BMI was calculated by dividing the weight kg by the height squared m2. When female had age at menarche under 9 and over 20 years, we considered the subjects had some pathologic condition like precocious puberty and other chronic disease. The mean age at menarche among the birth group was evaluated by oneway analysis of variance with Tukey multiple comparison test.

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Secular patterns in age at menarche were evaluated by constructing a linear regression of age at menarche by categorical year of birth. Regression analysis was used to assess the relation between age at menarche and BMI after adjustment for chronological age.

Logistic regression analysis was performed using obesity as the dependent variable and age at menarche below 12 years and chronological age as independent variables. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS ver. Age at menarche and BMI in categorical year of birth group is presented in Table 1.

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Reported age at menarche ranged from 9 to 26 years, with a mean of Mean age at menarche decreased over time, from Regression analysis showed a negative association between the year of birth and the age at menarche, indicating a downward trend 0.

The secular trend of mean age at menarche and body mass index for femalefemales born between and The mean of measured BMI of study subjects was Mean BMI decreased from birth group to birth group Fig. The prevalence of obesity in total subjects was The most important factor of current adult BMI is chronologic age. When, limiting subjects less than 30 years, the BMI decreased as age at menarche increased Fig.

Body mass index depending on age at menarche. The of female subjects with age at menarche over 16 years was only 61 3. Regression analysis after adjusting chronological age showed a negative association between the age at menarche and current BMI, indicating The of female with age at menarche less than 12 years early menarche was 3. In multivariate logistic regression after controlling for age, the odds ratios of obesity in female with age at menarche less than 12 years showed ificant increase into 1. In this study, we found that age at menarche still has been fallen in Korean population.

We also found that age at menarche was associated current adult BMI, and early menarche is risk factor of obesity in female adults. Age at menarche is indicator of maturation and reflects population health 1 - 316 - Age at menarche is influenced by several factors, such as genetics, ethnicity, and socioeconomic circumstances especially nutritional status 6 - Several studies from various countries have shown a systematic decrease in mean age at menarche in the past decades including Korea 4 - In Europe, age at menarche has been fallen from 17 years on average since the 19th century, to 13 years on average and stayed relatively stable with variation 0.

In German, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, the secular trend in age at menarche and stature has stopped and average age at menarche was In Swedish girls, it even reversed in the past three decades However, this secular trend is still ongoing in Asian countries including Korea. In China, age at menarche has been fallen 0. In our study, the mean age at menarche decreased rapidly over time, from These were compatible finding with Korean studies and found that the age at menarche has still falling since 5 This trend might be due to changes in the socioeconomic environment, possibly acting through changes in nutrition and exercise patterns 4.

While North Koreans refugees still showed age at menarche around Whether the secular trends in pubertal maturation or age at menarche are continuing or have reached their limit are still in debate. Some recent data in European countries raise that age at menarche appears to have decreased again in recent cohorts after a period of stabilization 6 The confirmation of an estimated advance in the age at menarche will require a long-term perspective study. In our study, earlier age at menarche is associated with current BMI of adults controlling age.

Several studies observed inverse relationship between age at menarche and adult BMI 26 - Freedman et al. Girls with early menarche have been reported to have greater body fatness in childhood including Korean 5 However, others lay stress on earlier menarche in itself might cause obesity in adults rather than simply be a proxy marker of sexual maturation The secular change of age at menarche was also found in normal weight girls Menarche is accompanied or quickly followed by a rapid increase in body weight 31 - High plasma estradiol levels and low sex hormonebinding globulin levels due to puberty are associated with adiposity Thus, the causal relationship between age at menarche and obesity was still debate.

However, it is true that both earlier menarche and obesity are strongly associated with chronic diseases.

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Adult female with early menarche have a higher risk of breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, depression, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease 2316 - Obesity is well known risk factors of various cancers, chronic adult disease as above mentioned, and mortality 22 The major strength of the present study is the large national representative study population.

However, this study had some limitations. First, as this study was the cross sectional character that prohibit conclusions of a causal relationship between age at menarche and BMI. Second, the age at menarche was reported by recall. In conclusion, age at menarche still has been fallen in Korean female.

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Female adolescent who showed early menarche might be increased risk of obesity in adult and predisposition to increased subsequent risk of chronic adult disease. Although, chronic adult disease such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease occur in adult age, the early puberty or menarche deals by pediatrician. Thus, pediatrician should be aware of the association between the age at menarche and obesity in adults and consequently above mentioned problems. Longitudinal studies are necessary whether this secular trend of earlier age at menarche is ongoing in Korean female.

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. Published online Jun Find articles by Ju Hyun Ahn. Find articles by Se Won Lim. Find articles by Bong Sub Song. Find articles by Juhee Seo. Find articles by Jun Ah Lee. Find articles by Dong Ho Kim. Find articles by Jung Sub Lim. Author information Article notes Copyright and information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Purpose The objective of this study is to estimate the trend in age at menarche in the Korean female and evaluate the relationship between age at menarche and adult body mass index BMIwhich is a indicator of later-life health.

Methods We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample self-reported age at menarche and measured height and weight of 11, females aged 15 and older. Conclusion We found that age at menarche is still falling in the Korean female.

Introduction Age at menarche is a key maturity indicator of female development, and it is known to reflect population health 1. Open in a separate window. Table 1 Mean age at menarche for Korean females born between and Discussion In this study, we found that age at menarche still has been fallen in Korean population. Footnotes No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

References 1. Dvornyk V, Waqar-ul-Haq Genetics of age at menarche: a systematic review. Hum Reprod Update. Height, age at menarche, and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Age at menarche and cardiovascular disease mortality in Singaporean Chinese women: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Ann Epidemiol.

Secular trend in age at menarche for South Korean women born between and the Ansan Study. Ann Hum Biol.

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Age at menarche in the Korean female: secular trends and relationship to adulthood body mass index