16 Feb Faster Growth in Early Childhood Linked to Earlier Puberty
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Izzuddin M Aris, PhD
Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Puberty is a key stage during child development. Previous research indicates that children in the United States are entering puberty at younger ages. These children may be in danger of developing certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, later in life. A better understanding of how early life factors affect puberty development is important for combating earlier puberty onset. .
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Briefly, we found that that children who grew more quickly than their peers in the first five years of life were more likely to start puberty earlier.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The key take home message is that children with faster growth in early life may need to be monitored more closely for earlier onset of puberty. As pediatricians regularly measure weight and height during routine visits and use growth curves to identify abnormal growth predictions, they could closely monitor children who have faster weight and height gains in the first five years of life for earlier onset of puberty.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Follow-up studies should aim to identify the mechanisms behind these initial observations. Future studies should also aim to identify the role of puberty in explaining the relationship between early life factors and longer-term chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: In the long-term, our results may inform future research that aims to develop and/or test preventive interventions to optimize nutrition, environmental exposures, physical activity, and other behaviors related to growth during these age periods.
I do not have any disclosures.
Aris IM, Perng W, Dabelea D, et al. Analysis of Early-Life Growth and Age at Pubertal Onset in US Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e2146873. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.46873
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Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by Marie Benz