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Prevalence of Premature Thelarche at 18 Months of Age: A Population- and Hospital-Based Study of Prevalence and Incidence in Girls Born at Northern Alvsborg County Hospital in Sweden

Journal article
Authors M. Osterbrand
Hans Fors
Ensio Norjavaara
Published in Hormone Research in Paediatrics
Volume 91
Issue 3
Pages 203-209
ISSN 1663-2818
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages 203-209
Language en
Keywords 17 beta-Estradiol, Premature thelarche, Gonadotropins, pubertal development, breast development, natural-history, estradiol, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Pediatrics, kiernan jf, 1981, archives of disease in childhood, v56, p525, anhope r, 1990, acta endocrinologica, v123, p481
Subject categories Pediatrics


Objective: The aim of this work was to investigate the prevalence of premature thelarche (PT) in 18-month-old girls, and the incidence of clinically evaluated PT for girls aged 18-36 months. Methods: In the prevalence substudy, a prospective population-based cohort of 3,140 girls born at Northern Alvsborg county hospital (NAL) in Trollhattan, Sweden, was followed for 2 years. Girls with breast development at the 18-month health check were referred to one pediatric center in NAL for evaluation. All girls with PT were included and followed for clinical outcome and 17 beta-estradiol. The prospective incidence substudy covered 8 years in a 10-year period and included all girls aged 18-36 months born at NAL who were clinically evaluated for PT. Results: The prevalence of PT at 18 months in our cohort was 1.6/1,000. The 5 girls with PT no longer showed symptoms at the follow-up 3-6 months later. The incidence was 1.1/1,000 for girls aged 18-36 months and 1.0/1,000 for girls aged 18-30 months who were clinically evaluated for their PT. Conclusion: This is the first prospective population-based study of PT and it shows a prevalence of PT at age 18 months of 1.6/1,000. The incidence of clinically evaluated PT was 1.1/1,000. Our result is in line with other studies reporting the incidence of PT from medical records (0.4-40/1,000). The outcome of PT in our study, as in the other studies, is that the great majority of girls show only benign symptoms. (C) 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel

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