Green Buckeye RN

Children’s Environmental Listserve: NIEHS Study: Girls Are Increasingly Entering Puberty at an Earlier Age
September 21, 2010, 9:40 am
Filed under: News

Anecdotal accounts from parents and physicians, as well as associations found in epidemiological studies, point to progressively earlier maturation among young girls today than among young girls studied 10 to 30 years earlier.
According to the study led by Biro and Wolff (below)  girls in their cohort showed high rates of breast stage 2 development at age 7 and 8:
•         At age 7, 23.4 percent of black non-Hispanic girls, 14.9 percent of Hispanic, and 10.4 percent of white girls had reached stage 2
•         At age 8, the rates had as much as doubled, with 42.9 percent of black non-Hispanic, 30.9 percent of Hispanic, and 18.3 percent of white girls measured at stage 2.
The study reports that higher BMI, older age, black race, and being from the Harlem or Cincinnati site were also associated with breast stage 2 or greater development. The proportion of white girls with stage 2 development at age 7 was more than twice that reported in a 1997 study of the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network.
The authors note that earlier maturation in girls is associated with breast and endometrial cancer, hyperinsulinemia, and elevated blood pressure. It is also associated with potentially harmful psychological effects, such as low self-esteem, eating disorders, suicide, and engagement in risky behavior.


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