The Secular Tendency of the Age at Menarche in a Representative Sample of Mexican Girls from an Urban Zone in Central Mexico


Objective: To investigate the age at menarche, pubarche and telarche in a representative sample of residents of an urban zone of Leon, Guanajuato, Central Mexico and to evaluate the secular change of the age at menarche between 1985 and 2000. Methods: Using status quo and retrospective methods, menarcheal, pubarcheal and telarcheal status of girls 8 - 17 years of age (n = 1093) were determined. Multiple regression analysis and logistic regression were used to determine factors that were related to or predictive of age at menarche. Results: Median ages for menarche, pubarche and telarche in our studied sample were: 11.9 ± 0.04; 11.13 ± 1.25 and 10.84 ± 1.34 years, respectively. A direct correlation was found between the age of menarche of adolescents and that of their mother (p < 0.001) and sisters (p < 0.001), in addition to the girls’ waist circumference (p = 0.001), but an indirect correlation was found with the girls’ hip circumference (p = 0.004). We demonstrated a clear secular tendency towards an earlier onset of menarche by comparing our results (11.9 ± 0.04) with data from 1985 (12.8 ± 1.3) for adolescents from the same city. Conclusion: We demonstrated a clear reduction in age at menarche of approximately 0.75 year/decade, higher than Tanner’s finding in 1962, but similar than that of Malina et al. in 2004.

Share and Cite:

Huerta-Franco, M. , Vargas-Luna, F. , Huerta-Franco, E. , Jimenez-Velazquez, A. , Balleza, M. and Delgadillo-Holford, I. (2015) The Secular Tendency of the Age at Menarche in a Representative Sample of Mexican Girls from an Urban Zone in Central Mexico. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 1362-1370. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.615142.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Susanne, C., Bodzar, E., Bielicki, T., Hauspie, R., Hulanicka, B., Lepage, Y., Rebato, E. and Vercauteren, M. (2001) Changements Séculaires de la Croissance et du Développement en Europe. Antropo, 71-90.
[2] Palmert, M.R. and Boepple, P.A. (2001) Variation in the Timing of Puberty: Clinical Spectrum and Genetic Investigation. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 86, 2364-2368.
[3] Bodzar, E.B. (2000) Studies on Sexual Maturation of Hungarian Children. Act Biol Sze, 44, 155-165.
[4] Papadimitriou, A., Chiotis, D., Tsiftis, G., Hatzisimeon, M.M., Krikos, X., Tzonou, A. and Dacou-Vouttakis, C. (2002) Secular Growth Changes in the Hellenic Population in the Twentieth Century. Hormones, 1, 245-250.
[5] Tanner, J.M. and O’keeffe, B. (1962) Age at Menarche in Nigerian School Girls, with a Note on Their Heights and Weights from Age 12 to 19. Human Biology, 34, 187-196.,PMID:13984888
[6] Rees, M. (1995) The Age of Menarche. ORGYN, 4, 2-4.
[7] Bagga, A. and Kulkarni, S. (2000) Age at Menarche and Secular Trend in Maharashtrian (Indian) Girls. Act Biol Sze, 44, 53-57.
[8] Padez, C. (2003) Social Background and Age at Menarche in Portuguese University Students: A Note on the Secular Changes in Portugal. American Journal of Human Biology, 15, 415-427.
[9] Pawloski, L.R. (2002) Growth and Development of Adolescent Girls from the Ségou of Mali (West Africa). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 117, 364-372.
[10] Padez, C. (2003) Age at Menarche of Schoolgirls in Maputo, Mozambique. Annals of Human Biology, 30, 487-495.
[11] Bosch, A.M., Willekens, F.J., Baqui, A.H., Van Ginneken, J.K. and Hutter, I. (2008) Association between Age at Menarche and Early-Life Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh. Journal of Biosocial Science, 40, 223-237.
[12] Cohen, S., Kamarck, T. and Mermelstein, R.A. (1983) Global Measure of Perceived Stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396.
[13] American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. Third Edition, Revised, APA, Washington DC.
[14] Malina, R.M., Peña Reyes, M.E., Tan, S.K. and Little, B.B. (2004) Secular Change in Age at Menarche in Rural Oaxaca, Southern Mexico: 1968-2000. Annals of Human Biology, 31, 634-646.
[15] Jacobo, M. and Malacara, J. (1985) Correlation of Menarche with Age and Various Somatometric Indexes. Boletín Médico del Hospital Infantil de México, 42, 37-41.
[16] Chumlea, W.C., Schubert, C.M., Roche, A.F., Kulin, H.E., Lee, P.A., Himes, J.H. and Sun, S.S. (2003) Age at Menarche and Racial Comparisons in US Girls. Pediatrics, 111, 110-113.
[17] Whincup, P.H., Gilg, J.A., Odoki, K., Taylor, S.J.C. and Cook, D.J. (2001) Age of Menarche in Contemporary British Teenagers: Survey of Girls Born between 1982 and 1986. BMJ, 322, 1095-1096.
[18] Thomas, F., Renaud, F., Benefice, E., De Meeüs, T. and Guegan, J.F. (2001) Internacional Variability at Menarche and Menopause: Patterns and Main Determinats. Human Biology, 73, 271-290.
[19] Torres-Mejia, G., Lea, A., Cupul-Uicab, B.A., Galal, O., Salazar-Martínez, E. and Lazcano-Ponce, C. (2005) Comparative Study of Correlates of Early Age at Menarche among Mexican and Egyptian Adolescents. American Journal of Human Biology, 17, 654-658.
[20] Bagga, A. and Kulkarni, S. (2000) Age at Menarche and Secular Trend in Maharashtrian (Indian) Girls. Acta Biologica Szegediensis, 44, 53-57.
[21] McDaniel, M., O’Neill, C., Metz, R.P., Tarbutton, E., Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M., Heimendinger, J., Wolfe, P., Thompson, H. and Schedin, P. (2007) Whole-Food Sources of Vitamin A More Effectively Inhibit Female Rat Sexual Maturation, Mammary Gland Development, and Mammary Carcinogenesis than Retinyl Palmitate. Journal of Nutrition, 137, 1415-1422.
[22] Kaplowitz, P.B., Slora, E.J., Wasserman, R.C., Pedlow, S.E. and Herman-Giddens, M.E. (2001) Earlier Onset of Puberty in Girls: Relation to Increased Body Mass Index and Race. Pediatrics, 108, 347-353.
[23] Koo, M.M., Rohan, T.E., Jain, M., McLaughlin, J.R. and Corey, P.N. (2002) A Cohort Study of Dietary Fibre Intake and Menarche. Public Health Nutrition, 5, 353-360.
[24] Plant, T.M. (2001) Neurobiological Bases Underlying the Control of the Onset of Puberty in the Rhesus Monkey: A Representative Higher Primate. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 22, 107-139.
[25] Barsom, S.H., Dillaway, H.E., Koch, P.B., Ostrowski, M.L. and Mansfield, P.K. (2008) The Menstrual Cycle and Adolescent Health. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1135, 52-57.
[26] Jovanovic, H., Prebeg, Z., Stanic, I. and Vuletic, G. (2003) Impact of War on Growth Patterns in School Children in Croatia. Collegium Antropologicum, 27, 573-579.
[27] Selevan, S., Rice, D.C., Hogan, K.A., Euling, S.Y., Pfahles-Hutchens, A. and Bethel, J. (2003) Blood Lead Concentration and Delayed Puberty in Girls. The New England Journal of Medicine, 348, 1527-1536.
[28] Chang, S.R. and Chen, K.H. (2008) Age at Menarche of Three-Generation Families in Taiwan. Annals of Human Biology, 35, 394-405.
[29] American College of Sports Medicine (2000) ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 6th Edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore.
[30] Peralta-Romero, J.J., Gómez-Zamudio, J.H., Estrada-Velasco, B., Karam-Araujo, R. and Cruz-López, M. (2014) Genetics of Pediatric Obesity. Revista Médica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, 52, S78-S87.
[31] Sharkey, J.R., Johnson, C.M. and Dean, W.R. (2011) Nativity Is Associated with Sugar-Sweetened Beverage and Fast-Food Meal Consumption among Mexican-Origin Women in Texas Border Colonias. Nutrition Journal, 10, 101.
[32] Bellini, G., Grandone, A., Torella, M., Miraglia Del Giudice, E., Nobili, B., Perrone, L., Maione, S. and Rossi, F. (2015) The Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Q63R Variant Modulates the Relationship between Childhood Obesity and Age at Menarche. PLoS ONE, 10, e0140142.
[33] Deng, F., Tao, F.B., Liu, D.Y., Xu, Y.Y., Hao, J.H., Sun, Y. and Su, P.Y. (2012) Effects of Growth Environments and Two Environmental Endocrine Disruptors on Children with Idiopathic Precocious Puberty. European Journal of Endocrinology, 166, 803-809.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.