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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Total and central adiposity are associated with age at gonadarche and incidence of precocious gonadarche in boys

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  • Ana Pereira
  • Alexander S Busch
  • Fernanda Solares
  • Ingrid Baier
  • Camila Corvalan
  • Veronica Mericq
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CONTEXT: A close link between body mass index (BMI) and female pubertal onset is well established. However, observations in boys remain inconclusive.

OBJECTIVE: We aim to determine whether BMI as well as total and central adiposity in prepubertal Chilean boys is associated with pubertal timing.

METHODS: We performed a longitudinal study in which 494 boys from the Growth and Obesity Chilean Cohort Study were followed starting from birth and throughout puberty, including 5 prepubertal visits. The main outcome measures included anthropometric data and semi-annual clinical pubertal staging. The association between BMI, obesity (BMI standard deviation score [SDS] ≥ 2) and central adiposity (waist circumference ≥ 90th centile) with precocious puberty and age at gonadarche was analyzed using survival- and logistic regression models.

RESULTS: BMI, prevalence of total obesity, and central obesity increased throughout childhood. Among the study population, 45 boys entered puberty before the age of 9 years (9.1%). Obesity at 4 to 7 years and childhood mean BMI SDS were significantly associated with precocious gonadarche. Mean age at testicular enlargement (≥4 mL), was 11.0 years (95% CI, 10.9-11.1) and was inversely associated with BMI SDS, waist circumference, and percentage fat mass in almost all prepubertal visits. Age at testicular enlargement in normal weight, overweight, and obese boys was 11.2 (11.0-11.3), 10.9 (10.6-11.1) and 10.7 (10.4-11.1) years, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Our observation supports the association of BMI SDS and obesity with pubertal timing and precocious gonadarche in boys, respectively. Early intervention controlling the obesity epidemic could be useful in decreasing detrimental impact on later health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Volume106
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1352-1361
Number of pages10
ISSN0021-972X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021

ID: 62062096