Age at menarche (AAM) is an important indicator of physiological development in women and delayed AAM has been associated with chronic illnesses. We investigated predictive factors at diagnosis that influence AAM in adolescents with chronic respiratory diseases.
AAM was assessed in 1207 northern Italian female aged 11-24; (1062 healthy, 98 with asthma and 47 with cystic fibrosis [CF]). AAM was defined by recall and status quo methods. We studied anthropometric data, metabolic status, diagnosis parameters, presence of irregular menses. Clinical data of subjects with chronic respiratory illness were compared with that of healthy adolescents.
Mean AAM for healthy adolescents was 12.49 ± 1.2 years. Mother’s AAM was positively associated with that of their daughters (p<0.001). BMI was negatively correlated with AAM (p<0.001). 69% of healthy adolescents referred regular menses. AAM in the different groups was 12.79 ± 3.0 years for patients with asthma (p<0.05 vs healthy) and 13.24 ± 1.44 years for adolescents with CF (p<0.0001 vs healthy). In the asthmatic group, 57% of the patients referred regular menses, and no significant differences were found between AAM and control of the disease (ACT test). In the CF group, no correlation was found between the type of CFTR mutation or FEV1% and AAM. 53% of the patients with CF referred regular menses.
AAM in patients with CF and asthma was significantly higher than in healthy adolescents and menses abnormalities were observed in the last two groups. Inflammation influences the reproductive function in chronic respiratory disease.
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