Table 2

Menstrual and pubertal history and trends in eating behaviours among the athletes and the controls

Athletes (n=100)Controls (n=98)P value
Age at menarche (years), mean±SD14.0±2.012.5 ± 1.2a<0.001‡
Age at attaining regular menses (years), mean±SD16.0±3.7b14.7±2.9b0.005‡
Primary amenorrhoea, n (%)20 (20.0)2 (2.0)<0.001‡
Spontaneous menarche*, n (%)93 (93.0)98 (100.0)0.014‡
Examined due to delayed puberty, n (%)13 (13.0)2 (2.0)<0.001‡
Secondary amenorrhoea, n (%)†31 (34.1)c20 (20.4)0.035‡
Regular menses always/nearly always, n (%)†50 (54.3)d72 (78.3)d<0.001‡
Cycle length 21–35 days, n (%)†55 (64.7)e81 (89.0)c<0.001‡
Eating disorder diagnosis, n (%)7 (7.1)f8 (8.4)g0.740
EDE-QS, mean±SD
 Age 13–156.3±7.36.4±7.40.943
 Age 16–188.4±7.97.3±7.70.340
 Age 19–218.0 ± 8.0h7.4±7.80.589
 Age 22–257.2±7.4i7.5±7.80.737
 Currently5.6±6.46.0 (6.2)0.697
EDE-QS≥15, n (%)
 Age 13–1516 (16.0)15 (15.3)0.893
 Age 16–1820 (20.0)18 (18.4)0.771
 Age 19–2119 (19.8)h15 (15.3)0.411
 Age 22–2517 (18.9)i13 (13.3)0.293
 Currently12 (12.0)10 (10.2)0.688
  • a n=97; b n=82; c n=91; d n=92; e = 85; f n=98; g n=95; h n=96; i n=90.

  • *Menarche had occurred spontaneously, that is, without any treatments.

  • †During the sports career (athletes) or ever (controls).

  • ‡p<0.05

  • EDE-QS, the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire short form scores.