Earlier Onset of Puberty in Girls Linked to Obesity

New research in Pediatrics shows obesity is the largest predictor of earlier onset puberty in girls, a phenomenon that is affecting white girls much sooner than previously reported.

Published online Nov. 4, the multi-institutional study strengthens a growing body of research documenting the earlier onset of puberty in girls of all races.

“The impact of earlier maturation in girls has important clinical implications involving psychosocial and biologic outcomes,” said Frank Biro, MD, lead investigator and a physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “The current study suggests clinicians may need to redefine the ages for both early and late maturation in girls.”

Girls with earlier maturation are at risk for a multitude of challenges, including lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, norm-breaking behaviors and lower academic achievement. Early maturation also results in greater risks of obesity, hypertension and several cancers – including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.

The study was conducted through the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Program, established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. Pediatrics is the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Researchers at centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cincinnati and New York City examined the ages of 1,239 girls at the onset of breast development and the impact of body mass index and race/ethnicity. The girls ranged in age from 6 to 8 years at enrollment and were followed at regular intervals from 2004 to 2011. Researchers used well-established criteria of pubertal maturation, including the five stages of breast development known as the Tanner Breast Stages.

The girls were followed longitudinally, which involved multiple regular visits for each girl. Researchers said this method provided a good perspective of what happened to each girl and when it occurred.

Researchers found the respective ages at the onset of breast development varied by race, body mass index (obesity), and geographic location. Breast development began in white, non-Hispanic girls, at a median age of 9.7 years, earlier than previously reported. Black girls continue to experience breast development earlier than white girls, at a median age of 8.8 years. The median age for Hispanic girls in the study was 9.3 years, and 9.7 years for Asian girls.

Body mass index was a stronger predictor of earlier puberty than race or ethnicity. Although the research team is still working to confirm the exact environmental and physiological factors behind the phenomenon, they conclude the earlier onset of puberty in white girls is likely caused by greater obesity.

Other institutions collaborating on the study include: Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif.; Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York; California Department of Public Health and the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco; and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Funding support for the study came from: the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute (grant numbers U01ES012770, U01ES012771, U01ES012800, U01ES012801, U01ES019435, U01ES019453, U01ES019454, U01ES019457), with additional support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (P01ES009584, P30ES006096); the National Center for Research Resources (UL1RR024131, UL1RR029887, UL1RR026314); the Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Health training grant (T32-ES10957); and the Avon Foundation.

About Cincinnati Children’s
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for cancer and in the top 10 for nine of 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

A New Roof Courtesy of ProTouch Restoration

A New Roof Courtesy of ProTouch Restoration
ProTouch Restoration feels strongly about the efforts of Pink Ribbon Girls and wants to do their part to help one family who is struggling with breast cancer by donating their roofing services. If you are a survivor in need of a new roof or roof repair, use the form below and tell us a little bit about you and your particular project (photos are also appreciated) by August 31st. The winner will be selected by September 15th.

Faith's Story

Faith Rolfes, NO Age NO Stage Program Recipient, continues her fight with a little help from PRG.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month really started meaning something to me over the past few years. In January of 2009, I was diagnosed as BRCA1 positive. Three years later, on October 10, 2012, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer. After the diagnosis, I decided to have a Bilateral Mastectomy with tissue expander placement on November 16, 2012. As of now, I have completed six cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxan, and I am currently preparing for 28 rounds of radiation.

I finally made the call to reach out to Pink Ribbon Girls after my 4th chemo treatment, when I started to feel really tired, sick, and hopeless.What a blessing they have been! They have helped with meals and housekeeping, making it easier for me to take care of my family and to fight the fight. I really do not know what I would have done without the immense support of these wonderful women! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The Pattie Noel 50th Birthday Celebration of Life

Earlier this year, Pattie told us she wanted to have a big 50th birthday party in August with proceeds going to PRG. So, in her memory, that is exactly what we're going to do! You're invited to come celebrate Pattie's life Join us!

Kuliga Park
6717 Bridgetown Road, Cincinnati, 45248

Friday, August 30, 2013

Starting at 6:00 PM

We'll serve some of Pattie's favorite foods, as well as memories, with live music by LoopManDan.

Tickets are $20 All proceeds going to Pink Ribbon Girls.   Please use our PayPal link below, bring the receipt to the Party!

More info on the event. a map to the park, and to RSVP visit the Event listing on our Events Page

Read more about Pattie, and this event at Tami Boehmer's web page;  "Honoring a friends legacy"

A Mother's Story

In honor of Mother's Day, we asked Suzan Printz, mother of PRG Executive Director Heather Salazar, to share her feelings about her daughter's diagnosis.

March 3, 2005 is a date in my history I will never forget. It's one of those days you remember exactly what you were doing when you heard about something horrible, such as President Kennedy has been shot or the events of 9-11. For me, it was a phone call from my oldest daughter, crying, "Mom, it IS cancer, come to the doctor's office!!" I felt my heart break into a thousand pieces.

The journey begins. We have to tell our family and friends. But our daughter and her husband have to tell their four young children. Later, when she is not around, my grandchildren will ask me some pretty tough questions! They don't understand why this is happening - I don't understand!

She researches the type of cancer she has and all of the treatment options. I listen trying to understand - and the pit in my stomach is growing larger every day. Plans are made for surgery. This all seems so unreal! I tried to make deals with God. "Please just pass the cancer to me. She is only 31 and has four children." She is my baby! Then the guilt sets in. What did I do wrong? Did I feed her unhealthy food? Did I pass her the breast cancer gene? Then the pity part is over! You pick yourself up, brush yourself off and put on your boxing gloves! We are going to FIGHT this!

Little did I know how difficult and heartbreaking the battle would be. Sitting in the waiting room for the nine hour surgery. Not leaving the room because I told her that is where I would be. Seeing her for the first time after surgery - so weak. But I was so thankful she was here and ready to begin her battle.

Each day seemed to bring new challenges like going shopping for a wig before she lost her hair. That is just not right. It seemed like only yesterday we were shopping for a wedding dress. Losing her long, beautiful, blonde hair was definitely one of our hardest times. You talk about it - you just don't really believe it will happen. Then it does! I remember just putting my arms around her and we both cried.

I cried myself to sleep many nights. Like the nights before we went to chemo - praying the IV would go in smoothly. Chemo days were real bonding days for us. We had lots of time to talk, met lots of interesting people and I got to see just how strong my daughter is.

I tried to be there for her in any way I could. Many times that meant crying together, or just holding her hand. I just wanted her to know I would be there always! For anything! I still have days when the pit in my stomach returns. And days when I can't believe we had to live through breast cancer. It was a very emotional and humbling time. The support we all received from our family and community of friends was truly amazing!

I love you Heather Noelle Printz Salazar to "infinity and beyond"! You have given me much joy, a few grey hairs, and lots of love. Your life is never dull! Thanks for letting me ride along with you!


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