Clin Exp Pediatr.  2021 Jan;64(1):12-20. 10.3345/cep.2019.00353.

Early menarche and its consequence in Korean female: reducing fructose intake could be one solution

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Seoul, Korea


The mean age at menarche (AAM) of Korean females has been rapidly decreasing over the last 50 years; currently, the prevalence of early menarche (<12 years) is 22.3%. Female adolescents who experience early menarche are known to be at greater risk of psychosocial and behavioral problems along with several physical health problems such as menstrual problems. They also tend to achieve a shorter final height and develop obesity. Population-based Korean studies have shown a strong association between early menarche and the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Although the exact mechanism of how early menarche causes cardiometabolic derangement in later adulthood is unknown, childhood obesity and insulin resistance might be major contributors. Recent studies demonstrated that an excessive consumption of fructose might underlie the development of obesity and insulin resistance along with an earlier AAM. A positive association was observed between sugar-sweetened beverages (a major source of fructose) intake and obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and cardiometabolic risk in Korean females. In pediatrics, establishing risk factors is important in preventing disease in later life. In this regard, early menarche is a simple and good marker for the management of cardiometabolic diseases in adulthood. Decreasing one’s fructose intake might prevent early menarche as well as the development of obesity, insulin resistance, and cardiometabolic diseases.


Menarche; Metabolic disease; Fructose; Insulin resistance; Obesity; Pathophysiology
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