Author(s): Riley AP, Huffman SL, Chowdhury AK
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Abstract This study examines the role of chronological age and time since menarche (TSM) as determinants of postmenarcheal growth in height and weight in a chronically malnourished population of rural Bangladeshi females aged 10-20 years. Height and weight measurements were collected for 12 months from 290 postmenarcheal girls, with known times since menarche, and on 118 girls who reached menarche during the one year follow-up. Two stage regression analysis was employed to study the relationship of age and time since menarche to postmenarcheal growth in height and weight, while adjusting for socioeconomic status. TSM is a more important determinant of postmenarcheal growth in height and weight than is age. For postmenarcheal growth in weight, the regression coefficient for TSM is six times greater then the coefficient for age. The effect of TSM was twice as strong as the age effect for postmenarcheal growth in height. Age has a statistically significant negative influence on statural growth and weight gain, but its practical effect on weight gain is small. An interaction between TSM and age suggests that TSM does not have the same implications for biological maturity for all ages at menarche. Findings demonstrate that Bangladeshi adolescents are still in active growth in height and weight into their late teens and past 20 years in some girls. This extended growth period may pose increased health risks to young mothers and their offspring.
This article was published in Ann Hum Biol
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences