Background: The age of onset of puberty varies from country to another and, within every country, from one socioeconomic group to another. In Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Cameroon, there is paucity of data on this topic.
Objective and hypotheses: To determine clinically meaningful normative reference data that describe the timing of sexual maturity indicators among Cameroonian children and to determine factors that influence the onset of this maturity.
Method: Cross-sectional analytical study consisting of 1382 Cameroonian boys and girls aged 815 years and living in urban area of Yaounde, selected from 11 schools. We performed two simple random samplings in two stages without replacement at each stage. Secondary sexual characteristics were recorded according to Tanner staging as well as self-reported date of menarche (if any). We also collected data concerning their sociodemographic status, food consumption and anthropometric parameters.
Results: In girls, the median ages (95% CI) of Tanner stage 2 pubic hair growth (P2) and stage 2 breast development (B2) were 8.73 (8.319.04) years and 8.89 (8.539.17) years, respectively. The median age of menarche was 13, 03 (12, 4713, 83) years. In boys, the median ages (95% CI) of Tanner stage 2 testicular development (G2) and stage 2 pubic hair growth (P2) were 9.63 (9.329.89) years and 10.05 (9.7310.09) years respectively. This was lower than the age of the 1980s generation confirming a secular trend of puberty.
Conclusion: Cameroonian boys and girls, living in urban areas start their puberty around 9 years precociously than 1980s generation in the same area.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology