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    Growth and pubertal development have each been studied in detail, but rarely in conjunction. The study aim was to determine what somatic and pubertal development have in common and how they differ and to quantify the association between milestones for growth and for pubertal development (in terms of pubic hair and genitalia/breast, Age of Peak Testes Velocity, APTV and menarche) in relation both to chronological (CA) and bone age (RUS). The data analysed are from the 1st Zurich Longitudinal Growth Study, with 120 boys and 112 girls with almost complete data from birth to adulthood. Variability of pubertal milestones was somewhat reduced in terms of RUS, in particular in later phases. Pubic hair phase PH2 appeared ∼1 year after the onset of the pubertal spurt. Around the age of maximal deceleration (T9) an adult-like appearance of pubic hair, genitalia and breasts was reached in most cases. APTV occurred close to T8. Correlations were large between milestones for growth and PH stages and also with menarche or APTV. A successful modelling of testis growth led to a new pubertal milestone, APTV. The high correlations between the phenomenologically different domains "linear growth" and "pubertal development", and the high correlations between RUS and linear growth previously established allow the conclusion that these different domains develop along similar biological mechanisms, which are steered mainly by genetic factors.


    Theo Gasser, Luciano Molinari, Remo Largo. A comparison of pubertal maturity and growth. Annals of human biology. 2013 Jul;40(4):341-7

    PMID: 23796112

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