Home News Childrens Health News Incidence of Idiopathic Central Precocious Puberty Higher During COVID-19

Incidence of Idiopathic Central Precocious Puberty Higher During COVID-19

Girls in Italy diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic spent about two hours/day on electronic devices; most stopped physical activity

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The incidence of idiopathic central precocious puberty (ICPP) increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Daniela Fava, M.D., from the University of Genoa in Italy, and colleagues compared the incidence of ICPP during COVID-19 (March 2020 to June 2021; group 2) to that of the previous four years (January 2016 through March 2020; group 1) using anthropometric, biochemical, and radiological parameters obtained from 133 girls in Italy who met the criteria for rapidly progressive ICPP (RP-ICPP).

The researchers found that the incidence of RP-ICPP was higher for group 2 versus group 1 (53.5 versus 41.1 percent), with the highest annual incidence in 2021. Age at diagnosis (7.96 ± 0.71 versus 7.61 ± 0.94), mean breast development Tanner stage (2.86 ± 0.51 versus 2.64 ± 0), and time between appearance of thelarche and diagnosis (0.93 ± 0.75 versus 0.71 ± 0.62 years) differed significantly for groups 1 and 2. Group 2 had an increase in the number of girls younger than 8 years of age, while group 1 had significantly more girls older than 8 years. Body mass index standard deviation scores were higher in group 2, and those in group 2 spent an average of 1.94 ± 1.81 hours per day using electronic devices; 88.5 percent stopped any physical activity.

“Our study confirms the rise in precocious puberty diagnoses during COVID-19 and identifies contributing factors such as poor eating and exercise habits, too much screen time, and impaired sleep,” coauthor Mohamad Maghnie, M.D., Ph.D., also from the University of Genoa, said in a statement.

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