Dr. C. Mary Schooling, Professor at the CUNY School of Public Health, along with colleagues from Hong Kong examined the association of maternal age of menarche and their offspring’s adiposity. Their research was published in Epidemiology.
[Photo: Dr. C. Mary Schooling]
The researchers used data from the Children of 1997, a population-representative Chinese birth cohort. Previous research has shown earlier age of menarche predicts chronic disease and is associated with higher body mass index and height in the offspring.
The researchers used generalized estimating equation in this birth cohort to examine the adjusted association of mother’s age at menarche with BMI and height z-score and whether the associations varied by maternal place of birth.
Earlier maternal age of menarche was not associated with infant BMI but was associated subsequently with higher BMI in childhood and at puberty. Maternal age of menarche was negatively associated with height in children of Hong Kong-born mothers, but positively associated with infant length for children with mothers born in China.
These different patterns suggest drivers of adiposity and linear growth differ, and are more influential in some circumstances. Understanding these drivers may indicate setting-specific interventions to prevent childhood obesity.