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Womens Health Issues. 2004 Nov-Dec;14(6):177-83.

Early puberty in girls: the case of premature adrenarche.

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  • 1Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


In this article we examine the issue of early puberty in girls. First, a brief overview of normal pubertal development is provided, including the two endocrine components of puberty: gonadarche and adrenarche. Second, we critically discuss the controversy regarding whether puberty truly is occurring earlier in girls. Third, we emphasize one type of early puberty, the case of premature adrenarche (PA). PA is used to illustrate the importance of identifying types of early puberty, evaluating the types to determine causality, determining whether follow-up of early puberty is necessary, and showing the potential ramifications of ignoring this variation in pubertal development. Findings from a pilot study comparing PA and on-time puberty children are used to show the importance of determining whether early puberty is normal in all cases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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