Analysis of the timing of puberty in a recent cohort of Ital
Throughout the twentieth century, in developed countries, there has been a secular trend towards earlier menarche. The study was published in the Journal of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology.

The objective was to analyze the mean age of menarche in a cohort of Italian girls; to analyze the mean age of breast button appearance (B2); to correlate the B2 developmental stage and age at menarche with the most important clinical and auxological parameters.

Researchers retrospectively evaluated the data of 1458 Italian girls, born between 1995 and 2003. They collected the main auxological and clinical parameters, including age at B2, age at menarche, height, weight, and BMI at B2 and menarche and, when possible, adult/near adult height.

- The mean age of B2 was 10.16 ± 1.00 years, significantly early than previously reported for Italian girls; the mean age of menarche was 12.07 ± 0.99 years, also significantly earlier than previously reported.

- Age at B2 and menarche inversely correlated with BMI SDS. The mean adult/near the adult height of the girls in the study cohort was not statistically different from previously reported data for Italian women.

The results suggest a new trend for an earlier appearance of thelarche and menarche in Italian girls. The data confirm a significant relationship between BMI and age of B2 and menarche. The girls’ final height seems to be in line with the average height for the Italian female population.