Introduction: Age at menarche reflects various health aspects including the timing of sexual maturation, growth and nutritional status, and enviromental conditions. This study carried out assesment obesity risk and the relationship between obesity, metabolic parameters and age at menarche in a series of Turkish women.
Materials and methods: In a survey of obesity outpatient clinic, 4212 women who have mean age 38.5±12.1 years and ages at menarche between 9 18 years enrolled tertiles to the study: Group I, age at menarche 9 11 years (n=476, 11.3%); group II, 12 14 years (n=2319, 55.1%); group III, > 14 years (n=1417, 33.6%). According to ages at menarche, body size variables (height, weight, BMI, waist circumferences) and metabolic parameters were determined and compared between groups.
Results: There were 270 (6.4%) subjects with BMI < 25 kg/m2, 800 (19.0%) with overweight (BMI 25 30 kg/m2) and 3142 (74.6%) with obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2). Mean adult height was shorter (157.7±6.3 yr, 158.4±6.2 yr and 158.9±6.4 yr, respectively) and BMI values (35.6±7.4 kg/m2, 34.8±7.2 kg/m2 and 34.6±7.3 kg/m2, respectively) were greater in group I with the lowest age at menarche than others (P<0.05). However, blood pressures, fasting glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides levels, waist to hip ratio and HOMA values were not different between groups.
Conclusion: Few studies have examined inverse association of age at menarche with adult BMI and the tendency of BMI to track between childhood and adult life. Age at menarche may simply be a marker for the pace of sexual maturation, leads to differences in adiposity that track into adult life. Our data suggest that children with earlier ages at menarche should be nearest follow-up to prevent the adulthood obesity.