Age at menarche is not an independent risk factor for high-risk human papillomavirus infections and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.Int J STD AIDS. 2008 Jan; 19(1):16-25.IJ
Data are controversial as to the role of menarche age as a risk factor of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infections. The objective of this study was to analyse the risk estimates for age at menarche as determinant of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and HR-HPV infections. A cohort of 3187 women were stratified into three groups according to their age at menarche: (i) women <13 years of age; (ii) those between 13 and 14 years and (iii) women >15 years of age. These groups were analysed for predictors of (a) HR-HPV, (b) high-grade CIN and (c) outcome of HR-HPV and cytological abnormalities during prospective follow-up. All the three groups had identical prevalence of HR-HPV, Papanicolaou smear abnormalities and CIN grades. In contrast to menarche age itself, the time from menarche to the first intercourse (TMI), to the first pregnancy (TMP) and to the first delivery (TMD) were all significant (P = 0.0001) predictors of HR-HPV (but not CIN2) in univariate analysis, but lost their significance in a multivariate model. Outcome of cervical disease and HR-HPV infection was unrelated to menarche age, the latter and the three intervals being not predictors of CIN2 in a multivariate model. In conclusion, age at menarche and the intervals between menarche and (i) onset of sexual activity, (ii) first pregnancy and iii) first delivery, are not independent predictors of HR-HPV infections and CIN2 in multivariate analysis.