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Menarcheal and pubertal development and determining factors among schoolgirls in Kumasi, Ghana

Menarcheal and pubertal development and determining factors among schoolgirls in Kumasi, Ghana


To determine menarcheal and pubertal ages and possible factors responsible for current pubertal trends in Kumasi, Ghana, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 720 urban and rural Kumasi 7–17-year-old schoolgirls and their mothers in 2008. Heights and weights were measured and additional information obtained by survey. Mantel–Haenzsel, χ 2 , ordered logistic regression and probit analyses were used to analyse the data collected. With 40.42% menarcheal prevalence, median menarcheal ages were significantly different: 12.37 ± 1.48 years urban and 13.41 ± 2.25 years rural; 12.89 ± 1.93 years, overall. Obesity (OR == 2.57; p == 0.033) and high socioeconomic status (OR == 2.12; p == 0.008) were predictors of early menarche, while a younger mother was protective against early menarche (OR == 0.32; p == 0.039). Age at menarche among Kumasi schoolgirls has dropped 0.76 years since it was last determined among similarly aged girls in 1986, declining at a rate of about 0.32 years/decade. The predicting factors provide an important opportunity for intervention through school curricula and targeted education of adolescents.
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