Background: Epidemiological evidence in Europe indicates the increasing prevalence of premature puberty, especially in girls. This may be attributed to in utero and early-life exposure to environmental estrogen-like compounds present in pesticides, plastics (bisphenol A, phtalates …) and beauty products.
Objective and hypotheses: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of premature thelarche (PT) and central precocious puberty (CPP) in girls up to 8 years followed in the Pediatric Endocrine Clinic over the last 20 years.
Method: We conducted a retrospective and current chart review (19932013) of girls ≤8 years referred for premature puberty. Four doctors contributed their patient data and the yearly number of referred patients was relatively stable (3843±323).
Results: The figure shows the number of girls with PT+CPP for every year. From 1993 to 2007, the average number of cases per year was 21.1. From 2008, the average rose to 43.5 cases per year, to reach a peak of over 100 cases in 2013. Moreover, in the first 2 months of 2014, 51 cases have already been recorded. It is deeply worrisome that in 2 months we have reached nearly the same number of PT+CPP as recorded in the middle of 2013.
Conclusion: Although we have not yet questioned the families about their occupational and/or residential risks of exposure to endocrine disruptors, our area is well known to be highly contaminated. It is likely that environmental pollution accounts for the dramatic rise in the prevalence of precocious puberty in girls.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology