Does neighborhood environment influence girls' pubertal onset? findings from a cohort study.

BMC Pediatr 2012 Mar 13;12:27. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Background: Pubertal onset occurs earlier than in the past among U.S. girls. Early onset is associated with numerous deleterious outcomes across the life course, including overweight, breast cancer and cardiovascular health. Increases in childhood overweight have been implicated as a key reason for this secular trend. Scarce research, however, has examined how neighborhood environment may influence overweight and, in turn, pubertal timing. The current study prospectively examined associations between neighborhood environment and timing of pubertal onset in a multi-ethnic cohort of girls. Body mass index (BMI) was examined as a mediator of these associations.

Methods: Participants were 213 girls, 6-8 years old at baseline, in an on-going longitudinal study. The current report is based on 5 time points (baseline and 4 annual follow-up visits). Neighborhood environment, assessed at baseline, used direct observation. Tanner stage and anthropometry were assessed annually in clinic. Survival analysis was utilized to investigate the influence of neighborhood factors on breast and pubic hair onset, with BMI as a mediator. We also examined the modifying role of girls' ethnicity.

Results: When adjusting for income, one neighborhood factor (Recreation) predicted delayed onset of breast and pubic hair development, but only for African American girls. BMI did not mediate the association between Recreation and pubertal onset; however, these associations persisted when BMI was included in the models.

Conclusions: For African American girls, but not girls from other ethnic groups, neighborhood availability of recreational outlets was associated with onset of breast and pubic hair. Given the documented risk for early puberty among African American girls, these findings have important potential implications for public health interventions related to timing of puberty and related health outcomes in adolescence and adulthood.

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2431-12-27DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3376028PMC
March 2012
19 Reads

Publication Analysis

Top Keywords

neighborhood environment
16
breast pubic
12
african american
12
pubertal onset
12
pubic hair
12
american girls
12
onset breast
8
environment influence
8
onset
7
neighborhood
7
girls
7
pubertal
5
assessed annually
4
anthropometry assessed
4
investigate influence
4
utilized investigate
4
analysis utilized
4
survival analysis
4
influence neighborhood
4
annually clinic
4

References

(Supplied by CrossRef)

LS Adair et al.
Am J Public Health 2001

X Ge et al.
Child Dev 1996

A Caspi et al.
Dev Psychol 1993

DM Dick et al.
Dev Psychol 2000

J Deardorff et al.
Pediatrics 2005

L Bernstein et al.
J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 2002

C Vo et al.
Obstet Gynecol Clin N Am 2007

AS Parent et al.
Endocr Rev 2005

PD Gluckman et al.
Trends Endocrinol Metab 2006

WC Chumlea et al.
Pediatrics 2003

SY Euling et al.
Pediatrics 2008

Similar Publications