Trend in Age at Menarche in Relation to Body Mass Index among Children and Adolescent Girls in Saudi Arabia
ABSTRACT Objective: It has been evaluated that the process of menarche occurs at a specified age, which enables a girl for reproduction. However, age of menarche is getting reduced on a constant basis in different western and eastern countries. Thus, this study has developed its objective to assess the decreased trend of menarcheal age, and its relationship with the body mass index of female individuals in the population of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross sectional study has been conducted among Saudi girls who were aged between 8-17 years old. Participants were randomly selected from six shopping centers of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia over the course of one month. Personal interviews were carried out for collecting data on the menarche related age and other pubertal signs including thelarche and pubarche. Age of menarche was subsequently categorized as early (<11 years old) and normal/ late (>11 years old). Weight and height were measured for BMI calculation and participants were then classified as being obese/overweight (BMI>2SD) and normal or underweight (BMI<2SD). Results: A total of 637 girls were recruited, of which, 25.4% only were experiencing the process of menarche at the time of study. Mean age of the study population was 11.2 ± 12.2. Mean BMI was 19.5 ± 4.6. Mean age at menarche was 11.9 ± 1.4 (95% CI: 11.6, 12.1), the minimum age was 8 and the maximum age was 16. Early menarche (<11years of age) was found among 27 (16.7%) girls (95% CI: 9.2, 9.8). Normal/late menarche (≥ 11years of age) was observed among 135 (83.3%) girls (95% CI: 12.2, 12.5). The mean menarcheal age among obese/overweight group was 11.2 ± 1.4 (95% CI 10.4, 12), while that of the normal/underweight group was 12 ± 1.4 (95% CI 11.7, 12.2), No significant difference was found between the two groups (P=0.668). Conclusion: it has been concluded that extremely feeble relationship was present between the body mass index and menstrual age of the selected population. Advanced research studies are required for deriving out excessive outcomes related to the menarcheal age and BMI index.
Abdulmoein E Al-Agha, Balgees Ajlan, Bara’ah O Tatwany