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No Previous Vol. 154 No. 9,
September 2000

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Height and Weight Change Across Menarche of Schoolgirls With Early Menarche  
Author Information  Shu-Hui Chang, PhD; Shinn-Jia Tzeng, MS; Jung-Yu Cheng, BS; Wei-Chu Chie, MD, PhD

Objective  To describe growth before and after menarche.

Design  Nine hundred five fourth grade school girls were identified as a closed cohort from the first semester of 1993 for the observational study of the onset of menarche and its predictive factors.

Settings  Eight elementary schools in Taipei City and Taipei County, Taiwan.

Main Outcome Measures  Data were collected from self-administered questionnaires and school records. Height and weight were measured in September, January, February, and June, or only in September and February of each year.

Results  All subjects remained in the cohort until sixth grade, 410 of whom had their first menstruation before graduating from elementary school. Height, weight, and body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) at each time point were plotted against 2 time scales: chronological age and time from the onset of menarche. Growth velocity of height and weight across the onset of menarche was assessed with slope change using the mixed-effect model analysis.

Conclusions  The results support the hypothesis that height velocity reaches a peak 1 year before menarche but height velocity stopped increasing within 1 year after menarche. The change in weight velocity reveals no obvious growth spurt at age of menarcheal onset.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154:880-884

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From the Department of Public Health (Drs Chang and Chie), Graduate Institute of Epidemiology, College of Public Health (Mr Tzeng and Ms Cheng), National Taiwan University, Taipei.
Reprints: Wei-Chu Chie, MD, PhD, Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Room 209, 19 Hsuchow Rd, Taipei, 10020, Taiwan (e-mail:

Accepted for publication December 9, 1999.

This study was supported by a 3-year grant from the National Science Council of Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, NBC 83-0412-B-002-265, NSC 84-2331-B-002-194, and NSC 85-2331-B-002-256 (Dr Chie).

We are grateful to Yung-Hsin Liu, BS, Ping-Chung Chang, BS, Jenny Chi, MS, Virginia Wu, MS, and Angela Chen, MS, for their helpful assistance. We would also like to thank the Bureaus of Education of Taipei City and Taipei County for administrative help and the 8 schools, as well as all of the subjects, their teachers, nurses, and mothers for participating and for undergoing interviews.

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