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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Dec 1;104(12):6079-6089. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00889.

Sex Hormone Phenotypes in Young Girls and the Age at Pubertal Milestones.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
2
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
4
Endocrine Sciences, LabCorp, Calabasas Hills, California.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The age of pubertal onset is influenced by many variables in young girls. Previous studies have not examined sex hormones longitudinally around the time of breast development and their relationship to pubertal onset.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to use an unbiased statistical approach to identify phenotypes of sex hormones in young girls and examine their relationship with pubertal milestones.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Longitudinal observational study.

PARTICIPANTS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

In 269 girls, serum concentrations of steroid sex hormones [estradiol (E2), estrone, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate] were measured by HPLC-mass spectrometry at time points before, at, and after thelarche. Girls were classified into four hormone phenotypes using objective principal components and cluster analyses of longitudinal hormone data. The association between the identified phenotypes and age of pubertal milestones was estimated using Cox proportional hazards modeling.

RESULTS:

Mean ages at thelarche, pubarche, and menarche were 9.02, 9.85, and 12.30 years, respectively. Girls with low levels of all four hormones, phenotype 3b, were youngest at thelarche (8.67 years); those in phenotype 2, with the highest E2 levels and E2 surge 6 months after thelarche, were youngest at menarche (11.87 years) with shortest pubertal tempo. When controlling for race, maternal age of menarche, caregiver education, and body mass, different phenotypes were associated with the age of pubertal events.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hormone phenotypic clustering can identify clinically relevant subgroups with differing ages of thelarche, pubarche, and menarche. These findings may enhance the understanding of timing of pubertal milestones and risk of adult disease.

PMID:
31408174
PMCID:
PMC6821200
[Available on 2020-08-13]
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2019-00889

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