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Year : 1997  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 26

Influence of socio-Economic class on sexual maturation and menarche of Igbo school girls

Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital - Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A R C. Nwokocha
Department of Paediatrics U.N.T.H., Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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A cross-sectional prospective study of influence of socioeconomic class (SEC) on ages of sexual maturation and menarche among Igbo school-girls was in 1990, carried out in Enugu, Nigeria. From primary and secondary schools, 1506 girls were randomly selected. They were stratified into SEC using the modified Olusanya, Okpara and Ezimokhai method and rated for sexual maturation, using the Marshall and Tanner standard. Pubic hair development commenced at 9.92 ± 1.93, 10.40 ± 1.59 and 10.66 ± 1.74 years for upper, middle and low SEC girls respectively with a mean of 10.37 ± 1.80 years while breast development commenced at 10.42 ± 2.10, 10.94 ± 1.80 and 10.97 ± 1.68 years respectively with a mean of 10.88 ± 1.83 years. Ages at completion and menarche had a similar pattern and were statistically significant (p<0.05). Onset and completion of sexual maturation in the higher SEC were earlier than in the lower classes. Need to start early, graded sex education is advocated especially with improving standard of living.

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