Early and late menarche and risk of depressive symptoms in young adulthood

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2014 Dec;17(6):511-8. doi: 10.1007/s00737-014-0435-6. Epub 2014 Jul 22.


We investigated whether girls experiencing early menarche have an increased risk of depression during young adulthood. This study used data collected in the Growing Up Today Study (N = 9,039), an ongoing prospective cohort of the daughters of women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. After excluding girls who were postmenarcheal at baseline in 1996, <20 or ≥26 years old in 2007, or missing data on key covariates, the final sample size was 3,711. Self-reported age at menarche was collected annually. Depressive symptomatology was measured in 2007 using the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D-10) score. Sixteen percent of girls (N = 596) reported high levels of depressive symptoms (CES-D-10 ≥ 14) in 2007. Neither early nor late menarche was associated with high depressive symptoms (for early vs. normative menarche, odds ratio (OR) = 1.08, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.85-1.38; for late vs. normative menarche, OR = 0.91, 95 % CI = 0.70-1.18) or with differences in continuous CES-D-10 score in young adulthood. Although previous studies suggest that girls with early menarche suffer from an increased risk of adolescent depression, this does not appear to persist into young adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / physiology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Menarche / physiology
  • Menarche / psychology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology