Age at menarche and body mass index: A population study

Dror Mandel*, Eyal Zimlichman, Francis B. Mimouni, Itamar Grotto, Yitshak Kreiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To test the hypothesis that age at menarche is inversely related to body mass index (BMI). Population and Methods: A questionnaire was filled in by 11,293 young women at the time of discharge from compulsory military service, in order to determine the self-reported age at onset of menarche. The participants were weighed and measured and BMI was calculated. Obesity was defined as BMI >30 and leanness as BMI <20. Results: The age at menarche was significantly and inversely correlated with BMI (R = -0.11, p <0.001). The age at menarche of obese women (12.9 ± 1.3 years) was significantly lower than that of non-obese, non-lean women (13.3 ± 1.4 years), who themselves had a lower age at menarche than lean women (13.5 ± 1.4 years) (p <0.001). Conclusions: We conclude from our data that the relationship between BMI and pubertal development in girls appears to be a continuum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-1510
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Age at menarche
  • Body mass index
  • Leanness
  • Leptin
  • Obesity


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