Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Pediatrics. 1997 Apr;99(4):505-12.

Secondary sexual characteristics and menses in young girls seen in office practice: a study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings network.

Author information

  • 1Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7580, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the current prevalence and mean ages of onset of pubertal characteristics in young girls seen in pediatric practices in the United States.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted by 225 clinicians in pediatric practices belonging to Pediatric Research in Office Settings, a practice-based research network. After standardized training in the assessment of pubertal maturation, practitioners rated the level of sexual maturation on girls 3 through 12 years who were undergoing complete physical examinations.

RESULTS:

Data were analyzed for 17,077 girls, of whom 9.6% were African-American and 90.4% white. At age 3, 3% of African-American girls and 1% of white girls showed breast and/or pubic hair development, with proportions increasing to 27.2% and 6.7%, respectively, at 7 years of age. At age 8, 48.3% of African-American girls and 14.7% of white girls had begun development. At every age for each characteristic, African-American girls were more advanced than white girls. The mean ages of onset of breast development for African-American and white girls were 8.87 years (SD, 1.93) and 9.96 years (SD, 1.82), respectively; and for pubic hair development, 8.78 years (SD, 2.00) and 10.51 years (SD, 1.67), respectively. Menses occurred at 12.16 years (SD, 1.21) in African-American girls and 12.88 years (SD, 1.20) of age in white girls.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that girls seen in a sample of pediatric practices from across the United States are developing pubertal characteristics at younger ages than currently used norms. Practitioners may need to revise their criteria for referral of girls with precocious puberty, with attention to racial differences.

Comment in

PMID:
9093289
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk