Maternal Smoking Linked to Early Puberty in Offspring

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nis Brix M.D., PhD Student Department of Public Health Department of Epidemiology Aarhus University Hospital Nis Brix M.D., PhD Student
Department of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
Aarhus University Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Several studies have indicated a secular trend towards earlier puberty. This is a potential concern as early puberty has been linked to an increased risk of a number of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. For this reason, our research team are interested in identifying potential modifiable causes of early puberty.

Smoking during pregnancy may be such a modifiable cause of early puberty in the children. Former studies have already linked smoking during pregnancy to earlier age at the daughters’ first menstrual period, a relatively late marker of pubertal development, but other markers of puberty are less studied, especially in the sons.

We studied 15,819 sons and daughters. The mothers gave detailed information on smoking during their pregnancies, and the children gave information on a number of pubertal milestones half-yearly from the age of 11 years. The milestones for the sons were age at voice break, first ejaculation of semen, pubic hair and testicular growth, armpit hair growth and onset of acne. For the daughters the milestones were age at their first menstrual period, pubic hair growth, breast development, armpit hair growth and onset of acne.

Our results suggested that the more cigarettes the mother smoked during her pregnancy the earlier her children, both sons and daughters, went through puberty. If the mother smoked more than ten cigarettes a day during pregnancy, the children appeared to go through puberty, on average, three to six months earlier than the children of non-smoking mothers. Continue reading

Age of First Pot Smoking Does Matter

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Natalie Castellanos Ryan, PhD

École de Psychoéducation
Université de Montréal
Outremont Canada 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Our study followed a group of boys living in low socioeconomic neighbourhoods in Montreal (N=1030) from early childhood to 28 years of age to investigate:

1) whether the age at which one starts to use cannabis across adolescence is associated with the risk of developing drug abuse by early adulthood, when one controls for  arrange of known risk factors for cannabis use and problems assessed across development (risk factors in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood); and

2) the developmental pathways from early risk factors to drug abuse problems.

To examine these associations, the study collected  self-reported cannabis use information from these boys annually from ages 13 to 17 years and drug abuse symptoms at 28 years, as well as teacher, parent and child reported information on a number of environmental (family and friend) and child characteristics (e.g., impulsivity, delinquency, school performance) across childhood and adolescence. Alcohol and other drug use was also assessed across adolescence and early adulthood.

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Later Puberty Linked To Lower Adult Bone Density

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Cousminer

Dr. Cousminer

Diana L. Cousminer, PhD
Division of Human Genetics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19104

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Osteoporosis is a significant public health burden, with origins early in life. Later puberty and lower adolescent bone mineral density are both risk factors for osteoporosis.

Geneticists have identified hundreds of genetic variants across the genome that impact pubertal timing, and we found that collectively this variation also plays a role in bone mineralization during adolescence. Additionally, we found that later puberty caused lower adult bone density.

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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Linked To Earlier Puberty in Girls

Karin B. Michels, MPH, PhD, ScD Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Karin B. Michels, MPH, PhD, ScD

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School,
Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston MA

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage consumption is associated with earlier age at menopause.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage consumption may explain part of why puberty is starting earlier and earlier in girls. This is another reason besides childhood obesity which also results from Sugar-Sweetened Beverage consumption to curb the consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage in children.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We would like to better understand the underlying mechanisms.

Citation:

Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and age at menarche in a prospective study of US girls
J.L Carwile, W.C Willett, D. Spiegelman, E. Hertzmark, J. Rich-Edwards, A.L Frazier, and K.B Michels

Hum. Reprod. first published online January 27, 2015 doi:10.1093/humrep/deu349

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Karin B. Michels, MPH, PhD, ScD (2015). Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Linked To Earlier Puberty in Girls http://MedicalResearch.com

Adolescent Girls: Early Puberty, Negative Peer Influence, and Problem Behaviors

Sylvie Mrug, PhD Departments of Psychology and Health Behavior University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama;MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sylvie Mrug, PhD
Departments of Psychology and Health Behavior
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama;

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Mrug: Experiencing early puberty and having a best friend who misbehaves at age 11 both contribute to more aggressive and delinquent behavior in adolescent girls. Although most of these effects are transient and disappear by age 16, early maturing girls are at risk for continually higher delinquent behavior. Early puberty also seems to make girls more vulnerable to negative peer influences.
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