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Thyroid Hormones and Timing of Pubertal Onset in a Longitudinal Cohort of Females, Northern California, 2006-11

Pubertal timing is regulated by a complex interplay of hormones. Few studies have evaluated the role of thyroid hormones in pubertal onset. We investigated the associations between blood concentrations of free and total thyroxine (FT4, TT4), free triiodothyronine, and thyroid stimulating hormone and pubertal onset among females. Participants included 323 Kaiser Permanente Northern California members followed at annual intervals during 2004-11, who provided a blood sample during the first 3 years of the study. Thyroid hormone concentrations were measured in serum in the first blood specimen available for each participant. Pubertal onset was defined as Tanner stage ?2 for breast (thelarche) and pubic hair (pubarche) development. Associations between thyroid hormones and pubertal onset were assessed by multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards modelling. At blood draw, participants were age 6.5-10.1 (median 7.7) years, 10% had reached thelarche, and 12% had reached pubarche. Participants were followed 0-5 years after blood draw (median 4). At most recent clinical visit, participants were age 6.7-14.7 (median 12.3) years, 92% had reached thelarche, and 89% had reached pubarche. No associations were identified between having reached thelarche or pubarche at time of blood draw and thyroid hormones. Examined longitudinally, higher concentrations of pre-pubertal FT4 and TT4 were associated with earlier pubarche (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06, 1.86; per ng/dL and aHR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02, 1.12; per ?g/dL respectively). Higher pre-pubertal concentrations of FT4 and TT4 are associated with earlier pubarche.

Authors: Wilken JA; Greenspan LC; Kushi LH; Voss RW; Windham GC

Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2016 May;30(3):285-93. Epub 2016-02-05.

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