The relationship among the age at menarche, anthropometric characteristics, and socio-economic factors in Bengali girls from Kolkata, India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

American Journal of Human Biology


Objectives: The aim of the study was to measure the causal effect of selected socio-economic factors and anthropometrical characteristics on the menarche occurrence. Methods: The sample consisted of 2195 Bengali girls (aged 7-21) from middle-class families, from Kolkata city, India. The age at menarche was recorded from the retrospective data and status quo method. The causal effect of anthropometric and socio-economic variables on menarche occurrence was estimated by the nonparametrical analysis of survival probability (survival random forest). Results: In the examined cohort menarche occurred, on average, at 11.8 years of age. The probability of menarche occurrence amplified with the increasing values of factors such as body mass index, height-for-age z-scores, number of family members, household rooms, and toilets, but decreased when expenditures increased. The relation maintained a similar pattern of causal effect with girls' age. Conclusions: A complex pattern of relationship among sexual development, physique, and socio-economic characteristics was defined. The tendency toward early menarche, along with the observed causal relationships indicate that the analyzed sample is nearing the characteristics and standards of living noted in other middle and even high-income countries in the world.



Publication Date



Open Access, Green