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News: Puberty Starts Earlier Than It Used... (The New York Times) - Behind the headlines

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The New York Times May 19, 2022

Puberty Starts Earlier Than It Used To. No One Knows Why.

by Azeen Ghorayshi

Some girls are starting to develop breasts as early as age 6 or 7. Researchers are studying the role of obesity, chemicals and stress.

Read more at The New York Times

Behind the headlines

Research findings and data from the National Library of Medicine

PubMed articles

Pediatrics JANUARY 1, 1997

Secondary sexual characteristics and menses in young girls seen in office practice: a study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings network

ME Herman-Giddens et al

These data suggest that girls seen in a sample of pediatric practices from across the United States are developing pubertal characteristics at younger ages than currently …

JAMA Pediatr APRIL 1, 2020

Worldwide Secular Trends in Age at Pubertal Onset Assessed by Breast Development Among Girls: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

C Eckert-Lind et al

The age at thelarche has decreased a mean of almost 3 months per decade from 1977 to 2013. A younger age at pubertal onset may change current diagnostic decision-making. …

Pediatrics JANUARY 1, 2012

Secondary sexual characteristics in boys: data from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network

ME Herman-Giddens et al

Observed mean ages of beginning genital and pubic hair growth and early testicular volumes were 6 months to 2 years earlier than in past studies, depending on the charact …

Horm Behav JANUARY 1, 2013

Pubertal timing and the development of psychopathology in adolescence and beyond

JA Graber

This article is part of a Special Issue "Puberty and Adolescence". This paper examines consistency of effects of pubertal timing (going through puberty earlier, later or …

Sci Rep SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

Age at menarche and endometrial cancer risk: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies

TT Gong et al

Evidence between age at menarche and endometrial cancer risk have been controversial. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies to analyze the aforem …

BMC Pediatr APRIL 30, 2003

The relation of menarcheal age to obesity in childhood and adulthood: the Bogalusa heart study

DS Freedman et al

Although additional longitudinal studies are needed, it is likely that the importance of early menarche in adult obesity has been overestimated. Most of apparent influenc …

J Clin Endocrinol Metab MAY 13, 2021

Longitudinal Investigation of Pubertal Milestones and Hormones as a Function of Body Fat in Girls

MT Ortega et al

In late puberty, girls with higher TBF demonstrate differences in standard hormonal and clinical markers of puberty. Investigation of the underlying causes and clinical c …

Int J Epidemiol JUNE 1, 2020

Childhood overweight and obesity and timing of puberty in boys and girls: cohort and sibling-matched analyses

N Brix et al

Childhood overweight and obesity were associated with earlier pubertal timing even after adjustment for unobserved time-stable confounders shared within families.

Pediatrics JANUARY 1, 2013

Onset of breast development in a longitudinal cohort

FM Biro et al

We observed the onset of thelarche at younger ages than previously documented, with important differences associated with race/ethnicity and BMI, confirming and extending …

Nature JANUARY 1, 2021

MC3R links nutritional state to childhood growth and the timing of puberty

BYH Lam et al

The state of somatic energy stores in metazoans is communicated to the brain, which regulates key aspects of behaviour, growth, nutrient partitioning and development …

Pediatrics JANUARY 1, 2009

Recent decline in age at breast development: the Copenhagen Puberty Study

L Aksglaede et al

We found significantly earlier breast development among girls born more recently. Alterations in reproductive hormones and BMI did not explain these marked changes, which …

Mol Endocrinol JANUARY 1, 2016

Minireview: Endocrine Disruptors: Past Lessons and Future Directions

TT Schug et al

Within the past few decades, the concept of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has risen from a position of total obscurity to become a focus of dialogue, debate, and …

Hum Reprod Update APRIL 25, 2022

Prenatal and postnatal exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals and timing of pubertal onset in girls and boys: a systematic review and meta-analysis

CS Uldbjerg et al

Statistically significant associations in the qualitative trend synthesis suggested that postnatal exposure to phthalates may be associated with earlier thelarche and lat …

Environ Res APRIL 4, 2022

Associations of prepubertal urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations with pubertal onset among a longitudinal cohort of boys

JS Burns et al

On average, boys with higher concentrations of prepubertal urinary AAPs had later pubertal onset by six months to over a year. The impact of AAPs on timing of male pubert …

Dev Psychopathol JANUARY 1, 2011

The impact of sexual abuse on female development: lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study

PK Trickett et al

This is a report on the research design and findings of a 23-year longitudinal study of the impact of intrafamilial sexual abuse on female development. The conceptual fra …

J Adolesc Health JANUARY 1, 2017

Childhood Sexual Abuse and Early Timing of Puberty

JG Noll et al

This study confirms an association between exposure to childhood sexual abuse and earlier pubertal onset. Results highlight the possibility that, due to this early onset, …

Child Dev JANUARY 1, 2000

Psychosocial antecedents of variation in girls' pubertal timing: maternal depression, stepfather presence, and marital and family stress

BJ Ellis et al

Drawing on Belsky, Steinberg, and Draper's evolutionary theory of the development of reproductive strategies, we tested a model of individual differences in girls' pubert …

J Adolesc Health JANUARY 1, 2011

Father absence, body mass index, and pubertal timing in girls: differential effects by family income and ethnicity

J Deardorff et al

Among girls from higher-income families, father absence was linked to earlier puberty. This was particularly true for African Americans in terms of pubic hair development …

Osong Public Health Res Perspect JANUARY 1, 2016

Timing of Spermarche and Menarche are Associated with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Among Korean Adolescents

EY Lee et al

Timing of menarche in girls and spermarche in boys could be a marker for PA and SB among Korean adolescents. To promote PA and discourage SB among Korean adolescents, sch …

Endocr Connect FEBRUARY 14, 2022

Sedentary lifestyle and precocious puberty in girls during the COVID-19 pandemic: an Italian experience

L Chioma et al

The present findings corroborate the recently reported association between the complex lifestyle changes related to the lockdown and a higher incidence of CPP in Italian …

Pediatrics JANUARY 1, 1999

Reexamination of the age limit for defining when puberty is precocious in girls in the United States: implications for evaluation and treatment. Drug and Therapeutics and Executive Committees of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society

PB Kaplowitz et al

In 1997 a study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings network, based on pubertal staging of >17,000 girls between 3 and 12 years of age, indicated that breast …

Pediatr Res APRIL 1, 2022

Neuroimaging in 205 consecutive Children Diagnosed with Central Precocious Puberty in Denmark

AB Hansen et al

Organic causes of precocious puberty are more frequent in boys with CPP than in girls. No cases of organic CPP were seen above age 6.1 years of age. The age cut off value …

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