Age at menarche in girls and the Developmental Origin of Health and Diseases
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Department of Mother and Child Health, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Department of Hygiene, Chair of Social Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Department of Public Health, Mieszko I Higher School of Pedagogy and Administration, Poznan, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(4):883–887
The researchers express their attitude concerning a chapter in the book by Victor Preedy entitled ‘Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form and Disease’ written by Polish researchers, anthropologists concerning the age at menarche in Polish girls after World War II. The authors question the arguments explaining the phenomenon of acceleration of pubertal timing in girls in recent decades described in the scientific literature. In their opinion, the phenomena of acceleration or delay of pubertal onset in girls cannot be explained solely by the living conditions. According to them, it is necessary to consider in these analyses the hypothesis of Developmental Origin of Health and Diseases (DOHaD). The researchers are of the opinion that this is rather a mismatch in the conditions of individual development, mainly nutrition, between critical developmental periods (critical windows) and later conditions that play a role in the acceleration or delay of the age at menarche in girls. They draw attention to the fact that the age at menarche in girls is an indicator of life span programmed in the early developmental periods. They consider that the effect of these relationships is susceptibility to civilisation chronic diseases in adulthood.
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