Age at menarche in contemporary Greek girls: evidence for levelling-off of the secular trend

Acta Paediatr. 2008 Jun;97(6):812-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00806.x.


Aim: To examine the secular trend of menarcheal age in Greek girls during the last decade.

Methods: Seven hundred and fifty senior high schoolgirls were asked through a questionnaire to report their date of menarche, participation in physical activities and their weight status at menarche. The data were compared with those of a study of 1996.

Results: Mean age at menarche (+/-SD) in 2006 was 12.29 (1.19) and in 1996 it was 12.27 (1.13) years, p = 0.73. Maternal menarcheal age was 13.02 (1.32). There was a significant correlation between age at menarche of the schoolgirls and their mothers, p < 0.0001. There was a significant difference in the age at menarche according to the schoolgirls' perceived weight status. Menarcheal age of obese girls (n = 56) was 11.73 (1.21) years, of normal weight girls (n = 474) was 12.29 (1.21) years and of lean girls (n = 220) was 12.42 (1.14) years, p < 0.001. There was no significant difference in the age at menarche between the girls that participated, 12.23 (1.19), and those that did not participate in sporting activities, 12.32 (1.19), p = 0.31.

Conclusion: Levelling-off of the age at menarche over the last 10 years occurred in Greek girls living in Athens. Menarcheal age is influenced by the weight status and maternal menarcheal age.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Body Image
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Menarche / physiology*
  • Menarche / psychology
  • Perception
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires