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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2019 May;90(5):702-710. doi: 10.1111/cen.13948. Epub 2019 Mar 10.

Associations between maternal age at menarche and anthropometric and metabolic parameters in the adolescent offspring.

Author information

1
Endocrinology Department, Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China.
2
Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
3
Pediatric Department of the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China.
4
A Better Start - National Science Challenge, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
5
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We examined the associations between maternal age at menarche and anthropometry and metabolism in adolescent offspring.

METHODS:

Anthropometric, metabolic and blood pressure data were obtained from 304 girls and 190 boys aged 11-16 years attending school in Hangzhou (China). Age at menarche for both mothers and daughters was self-reported. Fasting blood samples were obtained and all participants underwent clinical examinations. Obesity was defined as BMI ≥95th percentile for age and sex.

RESULTS:

Older maternal age at menarche was associated with older age of their daughters at menarche (r = 0.21; P < 0.001). Mother's age at menarche was not associated with anthropometry or metabolism of daughters. However, younger maternal age at menarche was associated with increased hip and waist circumferences, and BMI SDS of their sons. Boys whose mothers were ≤13 years at menarche had an adjusted relative risk of obesity 3-fold greater than sons of mothers with a later menarcheal onset (2.96; 95% CI 1.49, 5.87). Among daughters, every 1-year increase in their age at menarche was associated with a 0.34 SDS reduction in BMI. Increasing age at menarche was also associated with reduced waist and hip circumferences (-1.5 and -1.8 cm/y, respectively) and waist-to-height ratio (-0.008 per year). Girls in the youngest menarcheal age tertile (8.8-11.6 years) had diastolic blood pressure 2.2 mm Hg higher than other girls (P = 0.029).

CONCLUSIONS:

Younger maternal age at menarche is associated with increased obesity risk in their sons, but not daughters. However, girls who experience menarche earlier have a less favourable anthropometric profile.

KEYWORDS:

age; boy; daughter; girl; menarche; mother; obesity; offspring; son

PMID:
30739355
DOI:
10.1111/cen.13948

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