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Título : Age at menarche in a marginal Spanish Gypsi group
Autor : Prado, Consuelo
de Juan, Raquel
Díaz, Ana
Marrodán, María Dolores
Méndez de Pérez, Betty
Aréchiga v., Julieta
Palabras clave : menarche
Gypsy women
secular change
nutritional habits
Fecha de publicación : 8-Jul-2014
Citación : Acta Médica Auxológica;2001; 33(2): 97-103
Resumen : In Spain, gypsy people are the minority which is most poorly considered by the overall population. Gypsy women and girls are doubly marginalized both as a group and by their sex within the group. Many studies have demonstrated that menarcheal age is the most reliable biological indicator of ecological and social influences. Taboos and the marginal status of different ethnic groups can be detected through the use of this biological trail. The main objective of this paper is to show, for the first time, the relation between age at menarche and current socio-economic status in Spanish gypsy women. The difficulty in gaining access to this minority, their low level of education, the prevention of institutional intervention, and taboos related to the reproduction concerned topics caused considerable difficulty in obtaining data. The research team worked for one year in the community in three marginal areas of Madrid in order to obtain a small (no. 150) but consistently representative group of women between 14 and 45 years of age. Anthropometric and reproductive variables were studied, as well as the tvomen’s economic, nutritional and health status. The retrospective method was used with a double comparison in two times. Women were informed and participated voluntarily in the study, earned out in 1998-1999. The median age of menarche was 15.5 ± 1.33. When the sample was split up into two age groups (15-29 and 30-45 years old), a secular change was found (13-9 ± 1-43 and 12.9 ± 1.27 in women >30 and <30, respectively). The means are higher than the typical values found in the overall Spanish population. The evidence o f the above-mentioned secular change was studied in order to determine the importance of other incidental factors, such as dietary tendencies and sanitary control. In this population, nutritional changes have occurred in the last few decades, so that nowadays their diet contains more calories and has a high animal fat content. In addition to better health, this study detected a great need for education with regard to nutritional habits, and showed that in women o f this group overweight was becoming a problem.
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