PEER REVIEWED: Secular Trends in Age at Menarche, Smoking, and Oral Contraceptive Use Among Israeli Girls Academic Article uri icon


  • Methods A systematic, population-based survey used data obtained from female recruits to the Israel Defense Force from 1986 to 2000. During the study period, 11,392 questionnaires were collected from Jewish women aged 18 to 19 years. Participants were interviewed concerning geographic origin and level of education, father's geographic origin and level of education, current smoking status, use of oral contraceptives, and recalled age at first menstruation, first cigarette, and first use of oral contraceptives. Results Reported mean age (±SD) at menarche showed a monotonic trend of decreasing over time, from 13.41 (±1.30) years for women born before 1970 to 13.03 (±1.28) years for those born after 1978 (P<. 001). Women born after 1978 were twice as likely to experience menarche by the age of 11 as those born prior to 1970 (odds ratio 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.41–2.82) …

publication date

  • January 1, 2005