, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 149-154

Diet and age at menarche

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Early menarche has been associated with higher risk of breast cancer. A prospective study has been conducted in Quebec City, Canada, to evaluate the relationship of dietary intake to age at menarche. On three occasions during the schoolyear 1986–87, 2,299 pre-menarcheal girls kept a three-day dietary record. At the end of a 17-month follow-up, 911 girls (39.6 percent) had reached menarche. Incidence density ratios (IDRs) adjusted for age at entry and mothers' age at menarche were computed using proportional hazards models. IDRs for quartiles of energy, nutrient and food-group intakes were not different from the null value, In this population of well-nourished girls, diet did not influence the age at onset of menarche.

The authors are in the Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval. Correspondence and reprint requests should be addressed to François Meyer, Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4. This work was supported by a research grant from the National Cancer Institute of Canada. The study was conducted in part while J. Moisan was the recipient of a Ph.D. Fellowship from the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec. F. Meyer is a research fellow of the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec.