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Ochsner J. 2008 Fall;8(3):129-33.

Effects of stress after hurricanes katrina and rita on pubertal disorders in children.


Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused widespread damage that resulted in increased stress levels for families living in the New Orleans area. This study examined the relationship between this stress and the onset of puberty in children by conducting a retrospective chart review of patients referred before and after the storm to a pediatric endocrine practice in New Orleans. The total number of new patients referred and the incidence of diagnoses that are unlikely to be affected by stress (ie, thyroid disease and premature adrenarche) were essentially unchanged. On the other hand, the incidence of central precocious puberty decreased by 52% after the storm, while the incidence of pubertal delay increased by 9% in the post storm period. This study thus provides evidence that stress delays the onset of puberty in children.


Hurricane Katrina; puberty; stress


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