J Biosoc Sci. 2020 May 7:1-17. doi: 10.1017/S002193202000019X. [Epub ahead of print]
Menarche and menopause are two major components of a woman’s reproductive life. Ages at menarche and menopause vary widely between and within populations and are influenced by various factors, both genetic and environmental. The present community-based cross-sectional investigation aimed to assess the association between ages at menarche and natural menopause among women belonging to the indigenous Rajbanshi population of North Bengal, India. The investigation was carried out from January 2015 to May 2015 among 510 Rajbanshi women aged between 45 and 55 years residing in the district of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. A structured schedule was used to collect data on ages at menarche and natural menopause, marital status, parity, education, age of first and last pregnancies, duration of breastfeeding, nature of occupation, health status, smoking and monthly family income. Anthropometric measurements of height and weight were recorded and Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated. The statistical analyses, which included descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression (BLR), were done using SPSS. The women’s mean age of menarche and median age of natural menopause were 12.52 years and 50 years, respectively. The BLR analysis indicated that education, age at first pregnancy had significant effects on the age at natural menopause among women who experienced menarche at <12 years of age (p<0.05). In the case of women who attained menarche at ≥12 years of age, marital status, age at last pregnancy, parity, education, duration of breastfeeding, smoking, occupation, monthly income and BMI had a greater influence on age at natural menopause. There appears to be an indirect association between age at menarche and age at natural menopause, along with different predictor variables, among the Rajbanshi women.