Estimating the median age at menarche with a Logit model: Application to African DHS surveys

  • Michel Garenne University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: Age at menarche, Logit model, Socio-economic correlates, DHS surveys, Sub-Saharan Africa.


Background: The study investigates the median age at menarche in African countries.Data Source and Methods: DHS surveys provided information on the proportion ever-menstruating among women age 15-19. A linear-logistic regression model was used to derive the median age at menarche (statu quo method). Some 139 DHS surveys were analysed, for a total of 304,826 women. Results: Results show a wide range of variations of the median age at menarche among the 35 countries investigated, from 13.1 to 15.2 years.Conclusion: Country variations were correlated with various variables indicating the level of development (Income per capita; Caloric intake; Urbanization; Child mortality; Fertility; Age at marriage). Two variables were particularly important: food intake and urbanization.

Author Biography

Michel Garenne, University of the Witwatersrand
MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, School of Public ealth, Faculty of Health Sciences