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Trend of Menarcheal Age among Korean Girls

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BACKGROUND: Menarcheal age has been decreasing worldwide. However, few recent studies have observed trends in menarcheal age in larger populations, and the cutoff age for early menarche remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to analyze recent trends of menarcheal age and to determine the cutoff age of early menarche based on nationally representative data.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 351,006 Korean girls aged 12-18 years who were born in 1988-2003 based on the data of the 2006-2015 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey. We identified the distribution of age at menarche using the complex sample Cox regression model. Trends in the prevalence of early menarche were determined using the complex sample linear model.

RESULTS: Ninety-five percent of all the participants reported they had experienced menarche. The mean menarcheal age was 13.0 years (95% confidence intervals [CIs], 12.92-13.04) for girls born in 1988 and decreased to 12.6 years (95% CI, 12.54-12.61) for girls born in 2003. The cutoff age (the 3rd percentile value) for early menarche was 10.5 years during the study period. The prevalence of early menarche significantly increased from 1.8% in 2006 to 3.2% in 2015 (P-for-trend < 0.001). Downward trends of menarcheal age were noted across all body mass index groups, and this trend was most prominent in the obese group.

CONCLUSION: We reported an ongoing downward trend in menarcheal age in Korean girls born in 1988-2003, decreasing by 0.4 years over the 15 years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number49
Pages (from-to)e406
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

ID: 61840162