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Gender difference in breast tissue size in infancy: correlation with serum estradiol

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  1. Cerebral oxygenation and blood flow in normal term infants at rest measured by a hybrid near-infrared device (BabyLux)

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  2. Co-occurrence of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis and congenital heart defects: a nationwide cohort study

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  3. Serum, plasma and erythrocyte membrane lipidomes in infants fed formula supplemented with bovine milk fat globule membranes

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  4. Extreme neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, acute bilirubin encephalopathy, and kernicterus spectrum disorder in children with galactosemia

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  5. NKG2D gene variation and susceptibility to viral bronchiolitis in childhood

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  1. Use of stored serum in the study of time trends and geographical differences in exposure of pregnant women to phthalates

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  2. Sex-specific estrogen levels and reference intervals from infancy to late adulthood determined by LC-MS/MS

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  3. Bone mineral density is preserved in men with idiopathic infertility

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  4. The effects of long-term opioid treatment on the immune system in chronic non-cancer pain patients: A systematic review

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  5. Impact of Service User Involvement from the Perspective of Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer Experience

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Breast tissue in newborn infants is considered to be physiologic and mainly related to exposure to maternal hormones in utero or through breast-feeding. However, controversy exists as to whether breast tissue in later infancy is under the influence of endogenous hormones. Children at 2-4 mo of age have a surge of reproductive hormones, including estradiol, which may affect the mammary gland. In a prospective cohort study of 1126 healthy, 3-mo-old infants, breast tissue size and reproductive hormones were measured. We found that palpable breast tissue (diameter >or=3 mm) is a common physiologic condition present in 78.9% of children, significantly more frequent (p < 0.001) and larger (p < 0.001) in girls than in boys. Girls had significantly higher median estradiol levels than boys (30.0 versus 21.0 pmol/L, p < 0.001). In a multiple regression model including breast tissue size given as quartiles as the dependent variable and weight for gestational age, subscapular skinfold, weight at 3 mo of age and serum estradiol as independent variables, a gender difference was shown. In girls, the estradiol level was positively (p < 0.03) correlated to breast quartile. In boys, no correlations were found. Whether the stimulation of the mammary gland in infancy represents a developmental window that is of biologic significance for breast development and pathology in adulthood remains to be defined.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
Volume52
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)682-6
Number of pages5
ISSN0031-3998
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002

    Research areas

  • Anthropometry, Breast, Cohort Studies, Estradiol, Female, Finland, Gestational Age, Humans, Infant, Male, Prospective Studies, Sex Characteristics, Skinfold Thickness, Testosterone, Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 51497654