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Early menarche is associated with lower adult lung function: a longitudinal cohort study from the first to sixth decade of life


Campbell, B and Simpson, JA and Bui, DS and Lodge, CJ and Lowe, AJ and Matheson, MC and Bowatte, G and Burgess, JA and Hamilton, GS and Leynaert, B and Gomez Real, F and Thomas, PS and Giles, GG and Frith, PA and Johns, DP and Mishra, G and Garcia-Aymerich, J and Jarvis, D and Abramson, MJ and Walters, EH and Perret, JL and Dharmage, SC, Early menarche is associated with lower adult lung function: a longitudinal cohort study from the first to sixth decade of life, Respirology, 25, (3) pp. 289-297. ISSN 1323-7799 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2019 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology

DOI: doi:10.1111/resp.13643


Background and objective: Early menarche is increasing in prevalence worldwide, prompting clinical and public health interest on its links with pulmonary function. We aimed to investigate the relationship between early menarche and lung function in middle age.

Methods: The population-based Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (born 1961; n = 8583), was initiated in 1968. The 5th Decade follow-up data (mean age: 45 years) included age at menarche and complex lung function testing. The 6th Decade follow-up (age: 53 years) repeated spirometry and gas transfer factor. Multiple linear regression and mediation analyses were performed to determine the association between age at menarche and adult lung function and investigate biological pathways, including the proportion mediated by adult-attained height.

Results: Girls reporting an early menarche (<12 years) were measured to be taller with greater lung function at age 7 years compared with those reporting menarche ≥12 years. By 45 years of age, they were shorter and had lower post-bronchodilator (BD) forced expiratory volume in 1 s (adjusted mean difference: −133 mL; 95% CI: −233, −33), forced vital capacity (−183 mL; 95% CI: −300, −65) and functional residual capacity (−168 mL; 95% CI: −315, −21). Magnitudes of spirometric deficits were similar at age 53 years. Forty percent of these total effects were mediated through adult-attained height.

Conclusion:Early menarche was associated with reduced adult lung function. This is the first study to investigate post-BD outcomes and quantify the partial role of adult height in this association.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:menarche, lung function, population health, cohort studies, epidemiology, longitudinal studies, pulmonary function tests
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Johns, DP (Associate Professor David Johns)
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:134683
Year Published:2020 (online first 2019)
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1021275)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-08-28
Last Modified:2020-08-14

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