Background: The average age of onset of puberty development has lowered in last decades due to multiple confounding factors. No recent populational studies are available in our country regarding pubertal development.
Objective and hypotheses: The aim of our study was to identify the timing of pubertal characteristics in our region in children of school age. Our hypothesis was that the age of pubertal onset has diminished.
Method: Type of study: cross-sectional; target population: school-aged children 615 years of age; sample: composed of 1168 children randomly selected from four rural to four urban areas of Mures county. Variables: age, environment, sex, birth weight, breast, and pubic hair Tanner stage, age of menarche. The pubertal evaluation was performed by two trained endocrinologists. The study was approved by the Local Ethics Committee and a written consent was obtained for every child. Statistical analysis used Microsoft Office Excel. The results are expressed as means and S.D.s.
Results: Sex ratio boys:girls was 1.01; environment ratio urban:rural was 1.07. From the total sample, 107 children refused the evaluation and were excluded. The mean age of onset of pubertal development was 10.1±1.5 years in girls and 10.4±1.5 years in boys. Children from rural areas reached onset of puberty sooner both in girls and boys (by 0.19 respectively 0.07 years). The average age of menarche was 11.87±0.96 years with only 0.06 years difference in rural and urban areas. The mean age of puberty stage 5 was 13.1±1.21 years in girls and 13.33±1.52 years in boys.
Conclusion: This study shows that age of onset of normal pubertal development is not lower in our country, but the time frame of puberty has narrowed.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology