Early Menstrual Factors Are Associated with Adulthood Cardio-Metabolic Health in a Survey of Mexican Teachers

  • Erica C. Jansen
  • Dalia Stern
  • Karen E. Peterson
  • Martin Lajous
  • Ruy López-RidauraEmail author


Objectives To evaluate whether age at menarche and time to menstrual regularity were related to cardio-metabolic risk factors in Mexican women. Methods The study population comprised 54,921 women from the 2008–2010 wave of the Mexican Teacher’s Cohort. A modified Poisson approach was used; exposures were age at menarche and time to menstrual regularity (< 1 year vs. ≥1 year), and outcomes were prevalent obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Results Mean (SD) age of women was 42.1 (7.6) years, and mean (SD) menarcheal age was 12.5 (1.5) years. Compared to women with menarche age 13 years, those with menarche < 9 years had a 65% (95% CI 43–90%); 27% (95% CI 4–55%); and 23% (95% CI 1–49%) higher prevalence of obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, respectively. For diabetes, there was a U-shaped association; compared to menarche age 13 years, those with menarche < 9 years had an 89% higher prevalence of diabetes (95% CI 39–156%), and those with menarche ≥ 17 years had a 65% higher prevalence (95% CI 16–134%). Among women with regular cycles (n = 43,113), a longer time to menstrual regularity was associated with diabetes (PR = 1.11 with 95% CI 1.02–1.22), high blood pressure (PR = 1.11 with 95% CI 1.06–1.17), and high cholesterol (PR = 1.09 with 95% CI 1.04–1.14). Conclusions for practice Mexican women with earlier and later ages at menarche and/or longer time to menstrual regularity may have higher risk of cardio-metabolic disease in adulthood.


Menarche Time to menstrual regularity Obesity Type 2 diabetes High blood pressure High cholesterol 



We gratefully acknowledge Antonio García-Anaya, and Eduardo Ortiz-Panozo for data management expertise and assistance. We thank ISSSTE (Social Security and Services Institute for Employees of the State) for technical and administrative support. We also wish to thank the participants of the Mexican Teachers’ Cohort. Without their participation, this study would not have been possible. R. López-Ridaura and M. Lajous have a nonrestricted investigator-initiated grant from AstraZeneca. E. Jansen is supported by funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (5T32DK071212-12). This work is also supported by the American Institute for Cancer Research (05B047), and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (S0008-2009-1:000000000115312).

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.CONACyT-Center for Research on Population HealthNational Institute of Public HealthCuernavacaMexico
  3. 3.Center for Research on Population HealthNational Institute of Public HealthCuernavacaMexico
  4. 4.Department of Global Health and PopulationHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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