Annals of Human Biology vol:27 issue:6 pages:623-33
The present study examined allometric coefficients relating peak VO2 and body size relative to the time of menarche. Peak oxygen uptake (peak VO2) during exercise on a bicycle ergometer, stature and body mass were measured at annual intervals in a mixed-longitudinal sample of 40 active girls from 11 to 14 years of age. The girls were interviewed about their menarcheal status at each examination. The data were treated relative to the time before and after menarche: 2 years before (n = 18), 1 year before (n = 26), during the year of menarche (+/- 6 months, n = 32), 1 year after (n = 35) and 2 years after menarche (n = 22). Allometric coefficients were calculated for each of the five menarcheal groups based on logarithmic transformations of peak VO2 and body mass and peak VO2 and stature. The major axis of VO2 and body mass or stature (log transformed) was also calculated. This is the most appropriate slope for comparison with theoretical allometry coefficients. Mean peak VO2 increases from 2.1 +/- 0.19 L 2 years before menarche to 2.3 +/- 0.26 L 2 years after menarche. The slope of the major axis for body mass is always higher (0.508-0.926) than that for the allometric coefficient (0.323-0.591) in each of the menarcheal groups. The major axis slope and allometric coefficient are lowest between body mass and peak VO2 during the year of menarche. The slope of the major axis is below the theoretical allometric coefficients assuming geometric or elastic similarity, 2/3 or 3/4, before and at menarche and increases after menarche. Although the differences are not statistically significant, the results suggest that the relationship between body mass and peak VO2 at menarche is lower compared with relationships before and after this maturational landmark. Allometric coefficients for stature relative to peak VO2 show a similar pattern.