Timing and Determinants of Age at Menarche in Lower Middle-Income Countries

Tiziana Leone , London School of Economics
Laura Brown, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Age at first period is influenced by a unique set of genetic, socioeconomic, and environmental factors. However, very little is known about changes in the timing and determinants of the age at menarche in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This has mainly been due to a lack of suitable data. The aim of this study is to review the evidence on the determinants and timing of age at menarche in LMICs. Using a systematic mapping of the literature and the 16 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) that have included age at menarche, this study’s objective is to investigate patterns and regional variations in the timing of the age at menarche. Results show a significant relationship with wealth changing across countries and over time. While richer women were more likely to have an early menarche, now poorer do. Urban areas report consistently a higher risk of an early age at menarche.

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 Presented in Session 248. Determinants of Adolescent Health