The impact of two socioeconomic indicators on the age at menarche of female undergraduate students in Nigeria: Bayelsa as a case study.

Francis DAU1*, Oyinbo CA1, Eghoi AM2
1Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
2Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Abia State University, Abia State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Dr. Francis DAU; +234 803 671 5985; francisdaminola@yahoo.com

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Abstract

Background: The age at menarche is the age at which a female child sees her first menstrual period. It is part of the characteristic features involved in the transition of a female child to puberty. It occurs suddenly, unlike the other features such as axillary and pubic hair or breast development which are gradual in their occurrences. The moment of menarche is however, associated with some psychological features.
Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic indicators, especially pre-pubertal family income status and parent’s educational level and the age at menarche of daughters from such families in a Bayelsa population.
Materials and Method: A questionnaire was distributed to 120 female medical students of 200 and 300 level at the College of Health Sciences, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State. Data for Parent’s income status and educational level as well as other parameters such as parent’s employment and marital status prior to age at menarche were collated from the 78 returned questionnaires and analysed.
Results: No association was established by this study between socioeconomic status and the age at menarche. The study revealed that neither the family income status nor the parent’s level of education during early childhood exert any influence on the age at menarche.
Conclusion: Though, the study failed to show evidence of a relationship between socioeconomic status and age at menarche as revealed by previous studies. It was suggested that the result obtained may be due to the very small sample size and the homogeneous nature of the studied population. Future research on the topic should therefore involve larger sample size and a more heterogeneous population.

Keywords: menarche, socioeconomic status, Bayelsa population.

Cite this article: Francis DAU, Oyinbo CA, Eghoi AM. The impact of two socioeconomic indicators on the age at menarche of female undergraduate students in Nigeria: Bayelsa as a case study. Yen Med J. 2020;2(1):58-65.

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