Puberty and influencing factors in schoolgirls living in Istanbul: end of the secular trend?
ABSTRACT To (1) establish the median ages at menarche and pubertal stages and investigate influential factors and (2) assess the secular trend in reaching puberty in a transitional society.
A probit method was used to calculate the median age at menarche and pubertal stages from a cross-sectional study of 4868 healthy schoolgirls (aged 6-18 years) in Istanbul, Turkey. The findings were compared with those from a similar study performed 4 decades earlier. Logistic regression was used to analyze the associations between the odds of attaining puberty stages and putatively influential factors. Simple statistical models were used to test the effects of BMI and consumption of certain foods on the onset of menarche.
The median age at menarche is 12.74 years. The median ages at breast stages 2 through 5 are 9.65, 10.10, 11.75, and 14.17 years, respectively, and at pubic-hair stages 2 through 5 are 10.09, 11.19, 12.33, and 14.68 years, respectively. Girls from upper socioeconomic classes are more likely to reach menarche and B4 and B5 stages. Higher BMI seems to be a promoting factor for attaining menarche. Intrauterine growth and gestational age had no effect. The average age at menarche was not associated with the consumption of milk, eggs, chicken, or fish.
The secular trend in puberty is probably about to end in Turkey. Although the median ages at the breast stages show a decreasing trend, the median age at menarche is approximately the same as it was 4 decades ago. Socioeconomic status and BMI are important, and related, factors that affect the age at menarche and pubertal stages.
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ABSTRACT: As a transitional society, rapid changes have occurred in the social, economic, nutritional and lifestyle aspects of the Turkish population over the last three decades. As a result, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has shown a dramatic increase in the adult Turkish population, reaching figures as high as 30-40%. Although there is no nationwide figure regarding the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Turkish children and adolescents, several local studies performed between 2000 and 2010 in different regions of the country have demonstrated varying prevalence rates of 10.3%-17.6% and 1.9%-7.8% for overweight and obesity, respectively, in children aged 6-16 years. The differences in the figures obtained in these regions are thought to be due to variations in the subject sampling. The figures appear to vary depending on residential (urban vs. rural) and economic conditions. Belonging to a high-income family, living in a large city, having obese parents, being of high birth weight, consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, juice drinks, etc.), and spending time in front of TV and PC were identified as the most common risk factors. Complications and co-morbidities of obesity have also started to appear in our pediatric population. Metabolic syndrome, diagnosed according to the International Diabetes Federation criteria, was found in 2.3% of Turkish schoolchildren aged 10-19 years. This rate was 28% in obese children. Preventive public measures have started to be implemented by the State and other bodies to control the rising trends in obesity.Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology 03/2012; 4(1):1-7.