The mean age of menarche among Chinese schoolgirls declined by 6 months from 2005 to 2014

Yuanting Lei, Dongmei Luo, Xiaojin Yan, Jingshu Zhang, Peijin Hu, Jun Ma, Yi Song*, Patrick W C LAU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: This study assessed the trends in the age at menarche in Chinese schoolgirls from the majority Han group and 21 ethnic minorities from 2005 to 2014. We also compared the group differences during the study period. Methods: A total of 344 230 girls aged 9-18 years were extracted from the 2005, 2010 and 2014 Chinese National Survey on Students' Constitution and Health. The age at menarche for each subgroup was estimated by probit analysis. The chi-square test and Z-test were used to compare the differences between the groups. Results: The overall average age at menarche in Chinese schoolgirls decreased from 12.8 years in 2005 to 12.3 years in 2014. The Han girls and girls from 17 ethnic minorities showed decreasing trends in the age at menarche, while four ethnic minorities demonstrated fluctuating increasing trends over time. The gaps in age at menarche between the Han group and 14 of the ethnic minorities became smaller over the study period and were similar by 2014. Conclusion: The overall findings were a decrease in the age at menarche in China and smaller gaps between the majority Han group and ethnic minority groups. Ethnic-specific public health policies are urgently needed on issues such as contraception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-555
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume110
Issue number2
Early online date23 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • age at menarche
  • Chinese schoolgirls
  • ethnic minorities
  • Han girls
  • trends

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