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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 434-438

Pubertal onset in apparently healthy Indian boys and impact of obesity

1 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 International Life Sciences Institute, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Sur Homeopathic Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Raman Kumar Marwaha
Flat No. 17, Gautam Apartments, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi - 110 049
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_18_17

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Objective: Primary - to determine the age of pubertal onset in Indian boys. Secondary - (a) to assess the impact of obesity on pubertal timing, (b) to assess the relationship between gonadotropins and puberty. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: General community-seven schools across New Delhi. Participants: Random sample of 1306 school boys, aged 6–17 years. Materials and Methods: Anthropometric measurement for weight and height and pubertal staging was performed for all subjects. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated to define overweight/obesity. Serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone, and serum testosterone were measured in every sixth subject. Main Outcome Measure: Age at pubertal onset-testicular volume ≥4 mL (gonadarche) and pubic hair Stage II. Results: Median age of attaining gonadarche and pubarche was 10.41 years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.2–10.6 years) and 13.60 (95% CI: 13.3–14.0 years), respectively. No significant difference in the age of attainment of gonadarche was observed in boys with normal or raised BMI, though pubarche occurred 8 months earlier in the latter group. Serum gonadotropins and testosterone increased with increasing stages of puberty but were unaffected by BMI. Serum LH level of 1.02 mIU/mL and testosterone level of >0.14 ng/mL showed the best prediction for pubertal onset. Conclusion: The study establishes a secular trend of the age of onset of puberty in Indian boys. Pubarche occurred earlier in overweight/obese boys. The cutoff levels of serum LH and testosterone for prediction of pubertal onset have been established.

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