Prenatal Smoke Exposure and Age at Menarche

Project Timeline: 7/1/2002-6/30/2004

Rates of smoking has long been established one factor influencing health disparities among African Americans. To investigate the potential effects of early life exposures to cigarette smoke on age at menarche, Sequoia staff examined data collected in a study of pregnancies from the 1960s in California. The 994 female children interviewed as adolescents started their menstrual periods at a mean age of 12.96 years. The mean age at menarche for girls whose mothers smoked more than a pack of cigarettes daily, however, was approximately four months earlier.  This difference was greater among  girls who were not White.