Human Ecology

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 493–501 | Cite as

Questionability of Secular Trend Data and Factors Influencing Menarcheal Age: A Study in Sardinia (Italy)

  • Emanuele Sanna
  • Alessandra Congiu
  • Nicola Milia
  • Alessia Orrù
  • Carla Maria Calò
  • Maria Enrica Danubio


Menarche, the first indicator of reproductive capacity in women, is known to be regulated by multifactorial intrauterine and childhood events (Sloboda et al. 2007). Yet we know little about what determines menarcheal age (Vogel 2005; Ong et al.2007). Data for twins, sisters and mothers-daughters suggest a significant genetic effect (Sánchez-Andrés 1997; Ersoy et al. 2005; Teherani et al.2010). The mother’s menarcheal age is considered a good predictor of the daughter’s menarcheal age in non-obese girls (Ersoy et al. 2005). The Fels Longitudinal Study (Yellow Springs, OH) (Towne et al.2005) found that the heritability of age at menarche is 0.49 ± 0.13 (95 % confidence interval: 0.24–0.73), suggesting that approximately half of the phenotypic variation in the timing of menarche among girls from developed countries is due to genetic factors.

However, this intergenerational association may also be partly due to the environmental factors shared by mothers and daughters, e.g....


Body Mass Index Birth Order Secular Trend Italian Region Pubertal Timing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank the women participating in the study and their parents for assisting with the data collection. Research carried out with MURST ex-60 % grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emanuele Sanna
    • 1
  • Alessandra Congiu
    • 1
  • Nicola Milia
    • 1
  • Alessia Orrù
    • 1
  • Carla Maria Calò
    • 1
  • Maria Enrica Danubio
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CagliariCagliariItaly
  2. 2.University of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

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