Earlier Age at Menarche May Increase Gestational Diabetes Risk

(HealthDay News) — Earlier age at menarche is associated with increased risk for gestational diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

In a prospective cohort study, Liwei Chen, MD, PhD, from Clemson University in South Carolina, and colleagues examined the correlation between age at menarche and risk for gestational diabetes. Data were included for 42 109 eligible pregnancies from 27 482 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II.

The researchers found that across the age at menarche categories (≤11, 12, 13, and ≥14 years), the adjusted risk ratios for gestational diabetes were 1.34 (95% CI, 1.14-1.58), 1.13 (95% CI, 0.97-1.31), 1.11 (95% CI, 0.95-1.29), and 1.00 (referent), respectively (P for trend=.0005). Overall, 42.1% of the association (P=.0007) was mediated through prepregnancy body mass index.

“In summary, earlier age at menarche was associated with an elevated risk of gestational diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “A large proportion, but not all, of this association was mediated through excessive adiposity before pregnancy.”


  1. Chen L, Li S, He C, et al. Age at Menarche and Risk of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Prospective Cohort Study Among 27,482 Women. Diabetes Care. 2016. doi:10.2337/dc15-2011.