Objectives: We examined the association between childhood abuse and early menarche in a sample of US Black women.
Methods: We conducted multivariable log-binomial regression on data from 35 330 participants in the Black Women's Health Study to estimate risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the relation of childhood physical and sexual abuse with early age at menarche (i.e., < 12 years).
Results: In adjusted analyses, sexual abuse was positively associated with early menarche, and the risk of early menarche increased with increasing frequency of sexual abuse incidents. We observed a weak but statistically significant association between physical abuse and early menarche. Associations between sexual abuse and early menarche were stronger when we used a more stringent cutpoint for early menarche (i.e., < 11 years).
Conclusions: Our data suggest an increased risk of early menarche among Black women who experienced childhood sexual abuse. Evidence for an association between childhood physical abuse and early menarche was equivocal.