Trends in age at menarche of 10,563 pregnant Haitian women enrolled in a longitudinal study of maternal mortality are examined. Mean recalled age at menarche for adult women in the sample was 15.37 years. However, there was a clear decline in mean menarcheal ages from the oldest to the youngest women, with a mean rate of decline for adult women of 0.36 years per decade. Mean menarcheal age was higher in each age group of rural women than for women in the metropolitan Port‐au‐Prince area; the rate of decline for adult rural women (0.37 years per decade) was nonsignificantly higher than that for adult metropolitan women (0.30 years per decade). The data suggest a secular decline in age at menarche in Haiti, as well as a continuing disparity between metropolitan and rural women. A declining age at menarche has important implications for fertility and reproductive health in Haiti, and may reflect a gradual improvement in health and nutritional status. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics