Urban Rural Comparison of Anthropometry and Menarcheal Status of Adolescent School Going Girls of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India SC08-SC12
Dr. Shyama Choudhary,
5, Ramnagar, Behind RTO Office, B.J.S., Jodhpur-342001, Rajasthan, India.
Introduction: Adolescence is the formative period of life. Poor adolescent health translates into poor maternal health leading to increased maternal morbidity with inter-generational consequences.
Aim: To compare anthropometric, socio-demographic, menstrual and nutritional status of rural and urban adolescent school going girls of Western Rajasthan, India.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted in two rural schools and one urban school of Jodhpur region. Anthropometric, socio-economic (family history, menstrual history, maternal education) and dietary habit data of 327 (137 urban and 190 rural) school going adolescent girls aged 11–16 years were collected using structured questionnaires by a school based survey after consent from parents and school officials. Height and weight were taken using the standard procedure. Stunting (height for age) and thinness [Body Mass index (BMI) for age] were calculated as per the National Center for Health and Statistics (NCHS) standards. Statistical analysis was done using student t-test, fisher-exact test and Chi-square test.
Results: Mean height was significantly higher in urban girls while mean BMI of adolescents was significantly higher in rural areas as compared to their urban counterparts. Growth spurt was between 12-13 years showing maximum increase in mean height, coinciding with or immediately post-menarche. Menarche was one year earlier in urban girls as compared to rural girls (p<0.001). Thinness was more prevalent among females in urban areas and stunting was more common amongst girls residing in rural areas.
Conclusion: Life style habits (poor dietary habits, sedentary life style) of the urban girls may contribute to an early menarche but rural girls despite having a later onset of menarche; have a lower final height which may be attributed to their poor nutritional status. Improving nutrition of rural girls and modifying the life style of urban girls and educating their mothers will reduce the disparity and lead to better health and development of adolescent girls in this region and this could be expected to improve maternal health in future.