Age, Weight and Height at Menarche Among School Girls in Zaria
Context: Age at menarche has been trending downwards in most communities and this period often coincides with the onset of coitus and the first pregnancy, especially in Northern Nigeria
Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the current age at menarche of schoolgirls in Zaria and ascertain the biosocial and other factors that may be influencing it.
Materials and Methods: Girls from selected schools in Zaria were interviewed, using a structured questionnaire, to ascertain their age at menarche and obtain other socio-demographic information. Their weighta and heights were also measured. The results were analyzed with a computer statistical package and tabulated
Results: Out of the 3,130 girls in the eight schools selected, 148 of them attained menarche in the preceeding three months and they constituted the study group. The age of menarche ranged from 132 to 206 months (11.0 to 17.17 years). The mean menarcheal age ranged from 162.1 months for girls in Social Class I to 178.5 months for those in Class V.
Conclusion: Earlier onset of menarche in Nigerian school girls reinforces the need for appropriate family life and sexuality education to minimize the risk of reproductive health problems in these adolescents.
Key Words: Menarche, Anthropometric Measurements, Adolescence
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