10 Feb Age of Puberty Onset for Girls Continues to Drop
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alexander S. Busch, MD, PhD
Department of Growth and Reproduction
Rigshospitalet | Copenhagen Denmark
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Previous research has focussed a lot on menarche, i.e. the first menstrual bleeding, despite the fact that this represents a late sign of puberty.
The secular trend of age at menarche is thought to have slowed down or even stopped.
However, we as clinicians observed a rise in referrals with “precocious puberty” (as defined by thelarche, i.e. breast development, before the age of 8 years) over the past decades.
Thus, we suspected that age at thelarche is still declining. Given the fact that there has not be any systematic review on secular trends of clinically important puberty sign, we performed this study.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Age at thelarche has declined over the past decades.
Many factors different environmental factors, e.g. obesity or environmental chemicals, are thought to contribute to this decline.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: It is is important to proceed to monitor pubertal timing since early puberty has important health implications.
Eckert-Lind C, Busch AS, Petersen JH, et al. Worldwide Secular Trends in Age at Pubertal Onset Assessed by Breast Development Among Girls: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5881
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