The age at menarche amongst secondary school girls in Sokoto metropolis, North-West Nigeria
Background: Several studies suggest that menarche tends to appear earlier in life as sanitary, nutritional and economic conditions of a society improve.
Aim / Objective: To determine the age at menarche amongst secondary school girls in Sokoto metropolis and the influence of socio-economic status on this parameter.
Methodology: This is a cross-sectional study involving four different secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis, conducted between September and October 2010. Systematic sampling method was used to select 460 adolescent girls, and a pre-tested questionnaire was used to gather data. The 460 girls cooperated by completing the questionnaire under the supervision of members of the research team, but only 381 of the girls were finally recruited for the study.
Results: The age range at menarche was 10-16years and the mean was 13.67 ± 1.2years. The average age at menarche, based on social class, was 13.20 ± 1.1years (class I), 13.37 ± 1.3years (class II), 13.88± 1.5years (III), 13.92± 1.2years (class IV) and 13.98 ± 1.1years (class V).There was no significant difference in the average menarcheal age at different social classes (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The average age at menarche, in this study, is comparable to that of most previous reports in Nigeria, and socio-economic status appears to have no significant influence on the age at menarche.
Keywords: Age, menarche, Sokoto, Nigeria.