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Timing of puberty in boys and girls: A population-based study.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:A secular trend towards earlier puberty has been observed in girls, while a similar trend has been more uncertain in boys. We estimated current ages at pubertal development in both boys and girls. METHODS:In this population-based cohort study, 14 759 of 22 439 invited boys and girls born from 2000 to 2003 in the Danish National Birth Cohort gave half-yearly self-reported information on puberty from the age of 11.5 years and throughout puberty. This late start of follow-up limits the estimation of age at onset of puberty but not later pubertal milestones. We estimated mean age at attaining the following pubertal milestones in years with 95% confidence intervals (CI): age at menarche, voice break, first ejaculation of semen and Tanner stages for pubic hair development and breast development or genital development. Further, the difference in mean age at menarche between mothers and daughters was estimated. RESULTS:In boys, voice break occurred at 13.1 (95% CI 13.0, 13.1) years, first ejaculation of semen occurred at 13.4 (95% CI 13.3, 13.4) years, and Tanner Genital Stage 5 occurred at 15.6 (95% CI 15.5, 15.6) years. In girls, age at menarche occurred at 13.0 (95% CI 13.0, 13.1) years and Tanner Breast Stage 5 occurred at 15.8 (95% CI 15.7, 15.9) years. Daughters had menarche 3.6 (95% CI 3.1, 4.2) months earlier than their mothers had. CONCLUSION:These data indicate that age at menarche has declined and to some extent support a decline in age at attaining other markers of pubertal development among boys.

SUBMITTER: Brix N 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6378593 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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