Objective To describe and analyse the trend in age at menarche and menopause of women who have attended the breast cancer-screening program in the Valencian Community (VC) from 1992 to 2009 (born between 1927 and 1964).
Materials and Methods Between 1992 and 2009, a retrospective cohort of participants in a population-based breast cancer-screening program in the VC was assessed. The study population was 695 313 women, 45–69 years. Trends in menarche and menopause aged by educational level (EL), nationality and territory by born cohorts were analysed. A regression analysis by the Joint-Point for the tendency was calculated.
Results The age of menarche is earlier every cohort, 13.31 years (1927–1929) 12.59 years (1960–1964) (p<0.00001) by EL, mean 12 997 low EL vs 12 492 university EL (p<0001), being Spanish 12 722 vs 13 076 (p<0.0001) and living in urban area (12 717 vs 12 788) (p<0.0001). While these differences were very marked at the beginning of the period under study these being reduced in the last cohort. Joint point regression analysis shows significant differences in trend by varibles analysed. The age of natural menopause was 49.262 years in the 1927–1929 cohort, and 49.866 years in 1945–1949 (p<0.0001). Women with a low EL have an average age of menopause earlier than women of higher EL (49.531 vs 49.822) (p<0.001). Regression analysis of the trend shows that the delay was more pronounced for women with no education and primary studies (p<0.0001).
Conclusions Menarche has advanced age and menopause is delayed, making broader reproductive cycles exist and different by the social variables studied.
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