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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Relationship between age at menarche and anthropometric profiles, demography, and ethnicity among adolescent girls in Nigeria

Department of Human Anatomy, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Monday Nwankwo
Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2315-7992.190468

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Introduction: This study was made to evaluate and compare the age at menarche among Nigerian schoolgirls from Hausa and Igbo ethnic groups, and to examine whether ethnicity, demographics, and selected anthropometric characteristics of the studied population influence age at menarche. This was a retrospective cohort study. Materials and Methods: Data pertaining to menarche, ethnicity, and demographics were collected using questionnaires from 800 secondary schoolgirls of Nigeria, in 2014. Six hundred (600) were postmenarcheal, while 200 were premenarcheal. Among the schoolgirls, 300 postmenarcheal and 100 premenarcheal girls were of Hausa and Igbo descent, respectively. We compared the mean age at menarche of girls based on ethnicity, demographics, and the anthropometric parameters of menstruating and nonmenstruating girls. The relationship between anthropometric indices and age at menarche was determined. Results: Mean age at menarche among girls from Igbo ethnicity is lower than that of girls of Hausa ethnicity. Compared to rural girls, girls from urban centers reach menarche earlier. The mean age at menarche of the entire sample population was 13.54 ± 0.90 years. Mean ages at menarche of Hausa and Igbo girls were 13.65 ± 0.92 years and 13.44 ± 0.87 years, respectively. Mean body mass index (BMI) values in postmenarcheal and premenarcheal age were 20.50 ± 2.13 kg/m2 and 17.64 ± 1.40 kg/m2, respectively. The mean weight and height of menstruating girls were 49.02 ± 3.85 kg and 154.92 ± 0.05 cm, respectively, while those of nonmenstruating girls were 38.83 ± 2.60 kg and 147.56 ± 3.54 cm, respectively. Conclusion: Ethnicity, demographics, and selected anthropometric measurements have influence on age at menarche. Girls of Igbo ethnicity reach maturity earlier than those of Hausa descent, girls in urban centers have lower age at menarche, and the anthropometric measurements of menstruating girls are higher than those of nonmenstruating girls.

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