17 Dec '11, 6am

'Food insecurity' blocks menstrual cycle in young girls. - Environmental Health News

Girls with limited access to food enter into their first menstrual cycle at slower rates and up to a year later than those who have not consistently gone hungry, according to a long-term study of Ethiopian girls. The girls not affected by poor nutrition were more than twice as likely to reach puberty at age 14 than the girls facing food insecurity, according to the results published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. The lack of food affected maturation regardless of differences in urban or rural residence, level of household income, family composition and personal daily workload of the girls. In developed countries, girls reach their first menstrual cycle – called menarche – earlier than the average age of 14 found in the African girls in this study. Delayed puberty is linked to long-term health consequences such as lower fertility and osteoporosis. He...

Full article: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/201...

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