Consequences of obesity in women may extend years into their daughters’ lives, study findings hint.
The researchers found that daughters of obese mothers, versus normal- or under-weight mothers, were about three times more likely to start menstruating before their 12th birthday.
Previous studies have shown overweight girls tend to enter puberty at an earlier age and children of obese women tend to be overweight themselves, Dr. Sarah A. Keim, of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues note in the journal Epidemiology.
In the current study, daughters of obese mothers were more likely to begin menstruation at a young age, even if they themselves were not overweight.
In the study, daughters of mothers who were obese were 3.3 times more likely to begin menstruating when younger than 12 years old, relative to daughters of women who were not obese.
Menstruation at age 12 was 2.7-times more likely among daughters of obese women. These associations held in analyses that allowed for mothers’ height and other factors linked with early menstruation.
By contrast, the investigators found no early menstruation link in the daughters of women who were normal or underweight when they got pregnant.
The researchers call for further investigations to explain these associations. For example, mothers and daughters may share diet and exercise habits.
Source: The Daily Star, October 03, 2009