Association between BMI and age at menarche in girls from different socio-economic groups

Anthropol Anz. 2010;68(1):43-52. doi: 10.1127/0003-5548/2010/0066.


Objective: The study examines whether the differences in both average BMI values and the prevalence of the underweight, overweight and obesity between girls with early, average and late age at menarche depend on the socio-economic status.

Subjects and methods: The data were obtained from 2694 female students aged 15-18 years. Height and weight were measured and used to calculate BMI. The girls were divided into three groups in terms of their socio-economic status. Each girl was also classified as early, on time or late maturing based on the age at menarche.

Results: The inverse correlation between BMI values and age at menarche was observed. In groups of the same socio-economic status the highest BMI value was always observed in girls with early age at menarche and the lowest in those with late age at menarche. The maturation rate had also statistically significant effect on the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity. The early maturing girls presented a lower prevalence of underweight and higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than average and late maturing girls. This relationship was evident for both the entire sample material and in socio-economic groups.

Conclusion: The relationship between BMI and age at menarche occurs regardless of socio-economic status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menarche / physiology*
  • Obesity / economics
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / economics
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinness / economics
  • Thinness / epidemiology