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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jan;27(1-2):47-51. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0286.

Age of thelarche and menarche in contemporary US females: a cross-sectional analysis.

Abstract

AIM:

A recent secular trend towards earlier thelarche has been suggested. The aim of this study is to examine normative ages of thelarche and menarche in contemporary US females.

METHODS:

Trained physicians documented Tanner breast stage by observation in a cross-sectional cohort. Age of menarche was self-reported. The subjects were healthy female children and adolescents. The mean age of thelarche was determined by probit analysis and the mean age of menarche was determined by using a normal time-to-event model.

RESULTS:

Mean age of thelarche was 9.7 years among 610 females aged 3.0-17.9 years (70% non-Hispanic Caucasian (NHC), 14% African-Americans, 7% Hispanic, 9% "other"). The mean age of menarche was 12.8 years for NHC, with African-Americans having menarche 0.6 years earlier.

CONCLUSIONS:

Thelarche occurred earlier than recently reported, while age of menarche remained unchanged, this supported a persistent secular trend towards earlier thelarche but stable age of menarche. This suggests that the observed thelarche is gonadotropin-independent or the tempo of pubertal advancement has slowed.

PMID:
23959659
PMCID:
PMC4137967
DOI:
10.1515/jpem-2013-0286
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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