Association of age at menarche with obesity and hypertension among southwestern Chinese women: a new finding

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Abstract

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to assess the association of the age at menarche with obesity and hypertension among southwestern Chinese women.

Methods:

Participants in a cross-sectional study were required to recall and complete a standard self-reporting questionnaire, including age at menarche and lifestyle habits. Cardiovascular risk factors were obtained from the questionnaire or a physical examination. The main outcomes were obesity and hypertension. The association was examined by binary logistic regression and birth cohort. Odds ratios for adiposity and hypertension were computed across menarcheal ages.

Results:

A cohort of 7,119 women with a mean age of 44.7 years was included in the study. After adjustments, odds ratios (and 95% confidence interval) for obesity across menarcheal age categories (≤11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17, ≥18) were 3.75 [1.35-10.41], 1.15 [0.90-1.48], 1 (referent), 0.92 [0.75-1.12], and 0.74 [0.58-0.96], respectively (Ptrend < 0.001). For hypertension, they were 0.38 [0.13-1.08], 1.03 [0.80-1.33], 1 (referent), 1.21 [0.98-1.49], and 1.39 [1.08-1.80], respectively (Ptrend = 0.03). After adjustment by birth cohort, age at menarche was not associated with obesity but was still positively associated with hypertension.

Conclusions:

This study is the first to report that, among southwestern Chinese women, a late menarche tends to be associated with a high risk of hypertension, but with a low risk of obesity. The association between menarche and obesity tends to differ among birth cohorts. Knowledge of the menarcheal history could be a preventive marker for cardiovascular disease.

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