Author(s): Henneberg M, Louw GJ
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Abstract The age of the onset of menstruation has been determined for the urban middle-class Cape Coloured population. From 1987 to 1992 data were collected from 857 girls aged 8 to 20 years attending primary and secondary schools in Cape Town. The schools were specifically selected for the highest socioeconomic status (SES) of pupils' parents. Three-quarters of parents fell into the higher three categories of the 5-category SES standard. Girls were interviewed with respect to their menarcheal status and those who were postmenarcheal were also asked to report when they had started to menstruate. The probit analysis of the status quo data yielded average of 12.61 years and a standard deviation (s) of 1.25 years. The retrospective method was applied only to recall data of 258 girls falling into fully postmenearcheal categories (16-20 years). It yielded an average of 12.75 (s = 1.32), insignificantly different from that obtained from the probit analysis. The menarcheal age of higher SES Cape Coloured girls is significantly lower than that of white girls in Cape Town (13.30 years) and much lower than that of any group of black South African girls. It falls close to the lower limit of the range reported worldwide. Body heights, weights, and Body Mass Index indicate good growth status of girls studied.
This article was published in Am J Phys Anthropol
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research