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Am J Hum Biol. 2001 May-Jun;13(3):409-16.

Age of pubertal onset affects the intensity and duration of pubertal growth peak but not final height.

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  • 1Institute of Human Nutrition, Department of Human Reproduction, Growth and Child Development, CUCS, University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Abstract

This paper analyzed the intensity and duration of height growth during puberty in boys and girls in relation to rhythm of maturation. A longitudinal clinical follow-up between ages of 10 and 20 years, was carried out in a sample of 251 children grouped according to age at pubertal onset: boys (genital stage 2) at the ages of 11 (n = 28), 12 (n = 38), 13 (n = 42), and 14 (n = 27); and girls (breast stage 2) at the ages of 10 (n = 37), 11 (n = 47), 12 (n = 19), and 13 (n = 13). Height was measured annually. Testicular volume and genital development were assessed in boys, and breast development was assessed in girls. There were significant differences (P < 0.001) in height at the age of pubertal onset among maturity groups. Late maturers were taller than early maturers (r = 0.49, P < 0.001 for girls; r = 0.38, P < 0.001 for boys). However, final heights did not differ according to age of onset in either sex. In boys, later onset of puberty was associated with a smaller pubertal height gain (r = -0.60, P < 0.001) and a shorter period of pubertal growth (r = -0.61, P < 0.001). Equally in girls, earlier onset of puberty was associated with a greater pubertal height gain (r = -0.68, P < 0.001) and a longer period of pubertal growth (r = -0.59, P < 0.001). In conclusion, age of pubertal onset does not affect final height attained in both sexes, since there is an inverse compensatory phenomenon in both sexes between height at pubertal onset and the intensity and duration of pubertal growth.

PMID:
11460907
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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