Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Higher Prevalence Of Early Onset Of Menstrual Periods Among Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Date:
May 22, 2009
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
African-American women who were younger at menarche, or the onset of their menstrual periods, were more likely to report a history of childhood sexual abuse, according to a new study. The results suggest that a history of sexual abuse may increase the risk of early menarche (i.e., onset of menstrual periods before age 12 years).

African-American women who were younger at menarche, or the onset of their menstrual periods, were more likely to report a history of childhood sexual abuse, according to a new study led by a researcher at Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center. The results suggest that a history of sexual abuse may increase the risk of early menarche (i.e., onset of menstrual periods before age 12 years).

Related Articles


The study, which appears currently online in the American Journal of Public Health, examined the prevalence of sexual and physical abuse in childhood among more than 35,000 African-American women aged 21-69 years participating in the Black Women's Health Study, a national prospective cohort study.

The study found that a high proportion of participants reported a history of childhood abuse: 43 percent reported physical abuse and 18 percent reported sexual abuse. Women who reported a higher frequency of childhood sexual abuse had a higher likelihood of early menarche: a 26 percent increased risk of early menarche for 1-3 incidents of sexual abuse and a 34 percent increased risk of early menarche for four or more incidents, compared with women reporting no childhood abuse. There was a weaker association between physical abuse and early menarche.

The study used a considerably larger sample than any of the previous studies; examined African-American women, who have been underrepresented in earlier investigations; controlled for potential confounders that were not controlled previously; and simultaneously accounted for sexual and physical abuse in all analyses. An important limitation was the retrospective nature of data collection, which prevented establishment of the temporal relationship between abuse onset and menarche.

According to lead author Lauren A. Wise, ScD, an epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center and an assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, it is biologically plausible that childhood sexual abuse could influence age of menarche. Wise noted that "A link between sexual abuse and early menarche, if real, could have important public health implications because early menarche is associated with earlier age at initiation of sexual activity and first pregnancy, and is a risk factor for several adult conditions, including gynecologic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer."

Co-authors on the study were: Julie R. Palmer, ScD, a professor of epidemiology and senior epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center; Emily F. Rothman, ScD, an assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences at the BU School of Public Health; and Lynn Rosenberg, ScD, a professor of epidemiology, associate director of the Slone Epidemiology Center, and Principal Investigator of the Black Women's Health Study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Higher Prevalence Of Early Onset Of Menstrual Periods Among Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518134142.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2009, May 22). Higher Prevalence Of Early Onset Of Menstrual Periods Among Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518134142.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Higher Prevalence Of Early Onset Of Menstrual Periods Among Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518134142.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins