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We carried out a population study in an inner city London borough with high immigration rates and wide ethnic diversity. Almost a decade after reports showed that one in eight girls attained menarche while at primary school,1 and that little more than 50% of girls' toilets had disposal facilities,2 we revisited this important public health, educational and social issue.
A questionnaire, designed with input from hospital staff and teachers, was sent to the head teachers of all 44 state primary schools in Islington, with education authority support. Information collected included: the number and ethnicities of menarcheal girls in year 5 (9–10 years) and year 6 (10–11 years), whether teaching about …