Changes in the body of Kiera’s afraid of their parents. Despite 8 years of age, seemed usual chipper self, began to develop headaches and acne. More alarming to his mother, Sharon, were the budding breasts chest Kiera little thin.
“I thought I was too young,” says the mother of Pittsburgh. “She’s still afraid to sleep alone. An 8-year-old is simply not mature enough to handle this.”
For Kiera, whose name is withheld to protect his private life, everything was so embarrassing. None of his friends seemed to experience what it was. When asked about acne and chest expanding, Kiera was evasive. “I did not tell them what was happening,” said the girl in Pittsburgh, now 9 years old. “So we kind of had to lie to them.”
When parents took their daughter Kiera to the doctor, they said there was nothing wrong with the child. Kiera was starting puberty early.
As a result, puberty at age 7 or 8 is not as rare today. A new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows that more American girls are maturing earlier and earlier. In general, girls reach puberty at the United States at the age of 10 or 11.
Exactly what this change means for girls is still not clear – either a group or individual. However, there are concerns about the grass. For example, studies have established an early onset of menstruation in a high risk of breast cancer. And other research has shown that girls who undergo early puberty tend to have lower self-esteem and negative body image. They are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors that can lead to unwanted pregnancies, experts say.
The possible link to breast cancer was what triggered the new study. For a look at the long-term impact of puberty and other factors on breast cancer, the researchers recruited 1,239 girls between the ages of 6 and 8 from three sites in the United States: New York, East Harlem, largest metropolitan Cincinnati and San Francisco Bay.
The study revealed a surprisingly large bulge in the number of girls at puberty between the ages of 7 and 8. For example, research has found that 10 percent of white girls 7 years had some breast development compared with 5 percent in a study published in 1997. Similarly, 23 percent of black girls had begun puberty 7, compared to 15 percent in the 1997 study.
Nobody really knows what is driving the decline in the age of puberty. But the rise in obesity may be at least partly to blame, says the study’s lead author, Dr. Frank Biro, director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
That’s a lot of respect for Dr. Luis Garibaldi, a professor of pediatrics and clinical director of pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Back in 1700, girls have begun menstruating until 17 or 18 years, said Garibaldi. This has much to do with malnutrition. The assumption is that the steady decline in age, since then, to see with the largest meal.
There may be other environmental factors at work, too, says Dr. Stanley Korenman, an endocrinologist at the University of California at Los Angeles.
For example, Korenman said, environmental exposure to estrogens in plastics, chemicals and food has been increasing. And estrogen does not stimulate breast development, “he adds.
Until we know what the cause, the best way to stop puberty may be to “start living green,” said Biro. “It may be useful for families eat together and a well balanced diet. Regular physical activity can help.”
Another finding of the study can be up to the concept. The rate of precocious puberty is much lower in the group of San Francisco: 7 percent among whites than 7 years old Northern California to 14 percent among Ohioans of the same age. Among black children under 7 years, 27 percent of Californians are reaching puberty earlier compared with 31 percent of New Yorkers. Northern California climate warmer encourages outdoor activities and an emphasis on healthy food results in better nutrition.
Why are all these stories about precocious puberty?
Beyond the connection of breast cancer as possible, it is also the subject of emotional maturity, Biro said. “The fact that a girl has matured physically, does not mean it is socially or emotionally mature,” he explains.
There is also the issue of height. Few studies, Biro said, which show that children who mature early do not grow too large.
As part of its monitoring, Kiera suffered a bone. Doctors have discovered that at age 8, she had the bone development of a child of 10 years, which means that its growth may be delayed.
For Kiera and her family, the answer is simple: to slow puberty. She now has an implant is inserted under the skin of his arm that provides regular doses of a drug that blocks the hormone doping were taking early sexual maturity.
Kiera was happy to see her breasts budding out and once again the impression that integrates with all your friends. These days, said it would be very happy if they do the breasts start to swell until he was 16.
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