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Precocious Puberty

Abstract

You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.

NORD is very grateful to Jerrold S. Olshan, MD, Director, Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology/Diabetes, The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Precocious Puberty

  • pubertas praecox
  • sexual precocity

Disorder Subdivisions

  • central precocious puberty (CPP)
  • gonadotropin-dependent precocious puberty
  • gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty
  • heterosexual precocious puberty
  • idiopathic precocious puberty
  • isosexual precocious puberty
  • male-limited precocious puberty
  • peripheral precocious puberty

General Discussion

Precocious puberty means an abnormally early onset of puberty. A sequence of events occurs during which a child develops into a young adult beginning at an unexpectedly early age. Glands that secrete growth and sex hormones begin to function abnormally early in life resulting in this condition. Often, the exact cause of precocious puberty is not known.

Precocious puberty (PP) is a statistical definition; that is, it is the onset of secondary sexual characteristics in children at an age that is two standard deviations younger than the mean age of pubertal onset. The actual age that defines sexual precocity is therefore dependent on the epidemiological data that one uses to define the average age of pubertal onset. Different populations and different time periods will therefore have differing definitions of PP. Classically, in North America, puberty is considered precocious if it begins before age 8 in girls or age 9 in boys. Recently, most likely because of increasing weight in the population, puberty appears to be having an earlier age of onset.

Organizations related to Precocious Puberty

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