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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2000;33(4): 521-529.
Timing of Menarche and Physical Growth during Childhood and Adolescence: The Kangwha Study.
Chang Soo Kim, Chung Mo Nam, Duck Hi Kim, Hyun Chang Kim, Kang Hee Lee, Sun Ha Jee, Il Suh
1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine.
2Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine.
3Graduate School of Health Science and Management, Yonsei University.
OBJECTIVES: To assess height, weight and body mass index from childhood to adolescence according to the age at menarche and hence to study the influence of childhood growth on the menarche age. METHODS: "The Kangwha Study" was a community-based prospective cohort study which included the entire population of 219 female first graders in Kangwha county in 1986. Among the 219 girls, 119 girls who had received complete follow up checks during the study period(1986~1997), were included in this study, except one for whom menarche age information was unavailable. The remaining 118 girls were divided into three groups according to the timing of menarche : early(<25 percentile), intermediate and late(> or =75 percentile) maturers. RESULTS: The average age at menarche was 12.7 years : early 11.3 years, intermediate 12.6 years and late 13.7 years. The early maturers were taller and heavier between 6~8 years. But, the mean weight and body mass index at the menarche age did not differ statistically among the three groups. The weight and body mass index of the early maturers were consistently higher than those of the late maturers over the entire period of the study. CONCLUSIONS: Critical body weight and body mass index must be attained for menstruation to be attained and the age at menarche is largely determined by the childhood growth. In addition, it seems that childhood growth and age at menarche are associated with adolescent weight and body mass index.
Key words: Body mass index; Childhood; Growth; Height; Menarche; Weight
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