Girls in the United States are experiencing menstruation at earlier ages

A new study has revealed that girls in the United States are experiencing the onset of their menstrual periods at increasingly younger ages.

According to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, girls born between 2000 and 2005 experienced the onset of their periods at an average age of 11.9 years. This is half a year earlier compared to girls born between 1950 and 1969, who started menstruating at an average age of 12.5 years.

According to the findings, the latest generation had a higher likelihood of experiencing early (15.5% versus 8.6%) and very early (1.4% versus 0.6%) onset of menstruation.

According to Zifan Wang, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the early onset of menstruation is linked to a greater risk of adverse health outcomes like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The researchers discovered that women across the board are experiencing earlier menstruation. However, they observed that women from disadvantaged backgrounds or belonging to racial minorities were even more prone to starting their periods at a younger age.

“We need to invest more in menstrual health research to address these health concerns, as our findings indicate that they could affect a larger number of people, with a particular impact on already disadvantaged populations,” stated Wang.

The study involved the analysis of data from over 71,000 women who were enrolled in a comprehensive health study. These women were categorized into five different age groups based on their birth years: 1950-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, and 2000-2005.

Girls who experience their first menstrual period before the age of 11 are considered to have an early onset. If the period occurs before the age of 9, it is considered to be very early. On the other hand, if a girl gets her first period at the age of 16 or older, it is considered to be late.

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The researchers discovered a correlation between birth year and the average age at which girls experience their first menstrual period. The study revealed that as the birth year increased, the age at which girls typically start menstruating decreased.

Girls are experiencing a delay in the regularity of their menstrual cycle, according to their findings.

According to researchers, a girl’s weight may play a role in the early onset of periods. In other words, childhood obesity, which is already recognized as a risk factor for early puberty, could be a contributing factor to earlier menstruation.

There are several other factors that could potentially explain the observed phenomena. These include various dietary patterns, levels of stress experienced by individuals, adverse childhood experiences, as well as environmental factors such as air pollution and the presence of chemicals that can disrupt hormonal balance.

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