ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 P-D-3-3-846

Design and Recruitment of a Longitudinal Cohort Study of Growth and Puberty in Russian Boys

Oleg Sergeyeva, Thuy Lamb, Paige L Williamsc, Jane S Burnsb, Susan A Korrickb,d, Russ Hauserb, Boris Reviche, Yury Dikova, Lyubov Sergeyevaa & Mary M Leef


aChapaevsk Medical Association, Chapaevsk, Samara Region, Russia; bDepartment of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; cDepartments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; dChanning Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; eCenter for Demography and Human Ecology of the Institute of Forecasting, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; fPediatric Endocrine Division, Departments of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA


Introduction: There are few longitudinal male cohort studies with serial assessments of growth and puberty.

Objective: To describe the design and implementation of a longitudinal cohort study of Russian boys evaluated annually for growth, development and puberty.

Design/methods: We assembled a multi-disciplinary team of U.S. and Russian researchers to design and conduct a longitudinal boys’ cohort study in Chapaevsk, Russia with the primary goal of evaluating associations of environmental exposures with growth and puberty. At annual study visits scheduled at each subject’s birth month, the same study physician (O.S.) assesses pubertal staging and one nurse (L.S.) measures anthropometric variables. Pubertal assessments are based on a 1–5 scale for genitalia and pubic hair staging by visual inspection, testicular volume is measured using orchidometers, and penile length is measured with a ruler. Blood and urine samples for hormonal, chemical and genetic analysis were collected at baseline and biennially.

Results: In 2003–2005, 516 prepubertal boys were recruited at ages 8–9 years (86% of all eligible Chapaevsk boys) and will be followed annually for at least 10 years. The participation rate has remained high with over 75% followed for 6 years and 64% at 9 years of follow-up with 4319 visits as of February 2014. A core set of 23 anthropometric indices measured at annual visits (e.g., height, weight, segment lengths and diameters, circumferences, skinfolds) are available, as well as an additional 30 measures conducted biennially. Longitudinal curves for selected anthropometric and pubertal measures will be constructed.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this longitudinal male cohort is the first to have serial assessments of growth and puberty performed by the same physician and nurse followed for over 10 years, from prepuberty to young adulthood. This cohort provides an excellent foundation for describing growth and pubertal development trajectories and evaluating associations with environmental exposures.