Precocious puberty is the appearance of sexual characteristics before age 8 in girls and 9 years in children. The risk of early puberty is 20 to 30 times higher in children adopted abroad regarding the general pediatric population.
The onset of puberty and its progression depends on neurohormonal factors, ie, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal. In the development of precocious puberty nutritional and psycho factors are also involved. The consequences of early puberty are in addition to the early onset of sexual characters, an acceleration of growth and bone maturation. This leads to an early closure of the growth plates causing final adult height is less than that would correspond. This is often associated behavioral and psychological changes and integration problems.
Risk factors for early puberty
Risk factors of precocious puberty in adopted are:
- Sex affects girls in 90% of cases.
- Country of Origin: is most often seen in from Latin America, Southeast Asia and India.
- Age at the time of the adoption: the incidence doubles adopted in over 2 years of age and quadruples in the adopted over five years.
- Nutritional status and physical development: it is more common in those that come with chronic malnutrition or failure to thrive and that in a short time made a recovery growth (catch up) reaching its genetically determined body mass.
- Emotional deprivation and abuse: is more common in those with this history and will quickly reach a psychological and functional stability with the new family.
Treatment of precocious puberty
Early puberty has a major impact on both the physical and psychological development of the child and family. In Pediatrics , an early and accurate diagnosis determines the success of treatment and the favorable evolution of the clinical picture. Therefore, regular monitoring of the increase in height, weight, bone maturation and the development of sexual characteristics in children adopted abroad is recommended.