ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 P-D-2-2-544

Impact of Being Born Small or Large for Gestational Age on Pubertal Onset and Progression

M Loredana Marcovecchio, Ilaria Di Giovanni, Tommaso de Giorgis, Nella Polidori, Valentina Chiavaroli & Angelika Mohn


University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy


Background: Perinatal factors seem to influence the onset of puberty. There is some evidence suggesting that being born small for gestational age (SGA) is associated with early puberty, whereas the effect of large size at birth on timing of puberty is not clear.

Objective and hypotheses: To evaluate the timing of puberty in children born SGA and large for gestational age (LGA) compared to children born appropriate for gestational age (AGA).

Method: Longitudinal growth data collected from 40 AGA (20 boys), 20 SGA (ten boys), and 20 LGA (ten boys) subjects were analysed, using the Preece–Baines model, to calculate age at take-off (ATO), age at peak height velocity (APHV), age at attaining final height (AFH), peak height velocity (PHV), and final height. Duration of pubertal growth spurt (PGSd) was calculated as the difference between APHV and ATO. Analyses were adjusted for sex and prepubertal BMI.

Results: SGA and LGA children showed an earlier ATO compared to AGA children. In contrast, APHV and AFH were not statistically different between the three groups (P>0.05). PGSd was longer in SGA and LGA children compared to AGA. PHV was similar between the three groups, whereas final height SDS was significant lower in SGA children (−1.18±1.19) compared to AGA (−0.41±0.95) and LGA (−0.67±1.08) (P=0.04).

Table 1.
AGA (1)SGA (2)LGA (3)P for trendP 1 vs 2P 1 vs 3P 2 vs 3
ATO (years)11.3±1.310.2±1.010.2±1.5<0.01<0.01<0.010.59
APHV (years)12.5±1.212.3±1.612.4±1.40.430.190.760.39
PHV (cm/year)8.3±1.89.35±1.78.5±2.20.220.080.610.29
PGSd (years)1.2±1.12.2±1.42.2±1.2<0.01<0.01<0.010.84

Conclusion: Being born SGA or LGA is associated with an earlier onset of puberty and a longer PGSd. These data confirm previous associations between SGA and early puberty and support a similar trend associated with being born LGA.

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