Early periods in girls 'up risk of depression'

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New York, Jan 6 (ANI): Girls who begin menstruating before the age of 11.5 are the most depressed by ages 13 and 14, says a new study.

The younger a girl is when she begins her monthly period, the more likely she is to struggle with depression later in her teen years, according to British scientists.

They examined a group of girls ages 10, 13 and 14 years old and examined the relationship between the early onset of menstruation and depressive symptoms.

Researchers found that girls who started their periods before the age of 11.5 were the most depressed by ages 13 and 14.

Girls who began to menstruate at 13.5 years of age were the least likely to suffer the same symptoms.

"Early maturing girls may feel isolated, and faced with demands which they are not emotionally prepared for," the New York Daily News quoted lead researcher Dr. Carol Joinson of the School of Social and Community Medicine at Bristol University, as saying.

These changes can include hormonal fluctuations, conflicts with friends and parents and sudden attention from the opposite sex.

"Later maturation may be protective against psychological distress," said Joinson.

The study has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. (ANI)

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