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Correlation of Body mass index with premenstrual syndrome and age at menarche in medical students

Aarushi Kharb, Rubi Dey, Varun Kumar Singh.


Background: The female reproductive cycle encompasses various physiological phenomenon and menstruation being one such is associated with various problems affecting the quality of life. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of them. Body mass index (BMI) is considered a modifiable risk factor for PMS and is also related to the age at menarche.

Aim and Objectives: To determine the correlation of BMI with PMS and the age of onset of menarche among medical students.

Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted at a Medical College at Gangtok, among 100 consenting participants after obtaining due permission from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Apart from demographic details, height and weight were recorded along with age of onset of menarche. The presence or absence of PMS was evaluated using Calendar of Premenstrual experiences, a self-reported dairy measure of PMS developed by Mortola et al.

Results: Mean age of participants was 20.7 years and at mean age of 12.5 years they attained menarche. Girls who had either low or high BMI attained menarche at a higher age, but the difference was not significant (P = 0.142). Association between PMS and BMI was poor (0.027, P = 0.869). The correlation analysis found a poor negative correlation (−0.052, P = 0.606) between BMI and age at menarche. The correlation between age at menarche and the presence of PMS was positive (0.182, P = 0.07).

Conclusion: PMS was seen in 53% of the study population, but only 24% had a high BMI. Deviated BMI from normal had menarche at a higher age and there was a poor correlation between the BMI and PMS.

Key words: Body Mass Index; Menarche; Premenstrual Syndrome

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