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Ann Hum Biol. 1999 Jan-Feb;26(1):89-97.

Age at menarche and urbanization in Cameroon: current status and secular trends.

Author information

1
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Anthropologie et Ecologie de l'Alimentation, Paris, France.

Abstract

Status quo data on the age at menarche were obtained on samples of Cameroonian girls living in urban (Yaoundé) (n = 205), suburban (n = 505) and rural areas (n = 201). Mean ages at menarche, estimated by probit analysis, are 13.18 years (SD 1.08) in Yaoundé, 13.98 years (SD 1.55) in the suburban area, and 14.27 years (SD 1.65) in the rural area. The early menarcheal age observed in Yaoundé girls attending 'privileged schools' (12.72 years, SD 1.18) substantiates the hypothesis that in good environmental conditions Africans are as early-maturing as Asiatic or Mediterranean populations. Comparison with retrospective data on age at menarche during previous decades reveals the presence of a clear secular trend towards earlier maturation, at a rate of 2.5-3.2 months per decade, only in the main cities of the country (Yaoundé/Douala) and a lack of temporal variation in rural areas. The degree of urbanization influences maturational age and its evolution, probably through improvements in the nutritional standards.

PIP:

"Status quo data on the age at menarche were obtained on samples of Cameroonian girls living in urban (Yaounde) (n=205), suburban (n=505) and rural areas (n=201).... Comparison with retrospective data on age at menarche during previous decades reveals the presence of a clear secular trend towards earlier maturation, at a rate of 2.5-3.2 months per decade, only in the main cities of the country (Yaounde/Douala) and a lack of temporal variation in rural areas. The degree of urbanization influences maturational age and its evolution, probably through improvements in the nutritional standards." (EXCERPT).

PMID:
9974086
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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