The effects of the covid-19 pandemic on puberty: a cross-sectional, multicenter study from Turkey


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Yesiltepe Mutlu G., Eviz E., Haliloglu B., Kirmizibekmez H., Dursun F., Ozalkak S., ...More

Italian Journal of Pediatrics, vol.48, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s13052-022-01337-z
  • Journal Name: Italian Journal of Pediatrics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Covid-19, Pandemic, Early puberty, Girls, CHILDREN, OBESITY
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No

Abstract

© 2022, The Author(s).Backgrounds: During the Coronavirus-19 disease (Covid-19) pandemic it was observed that the number of girls presenting with early puberty had increased. The aim of this study was to carry out a retrospective evaluation of the characteristics of girls who had been referred for evaluation of precocious puberty in five different pediatric endocrinology units, before and during the pandemic. Methods: The study participants comprised 359 girls who were assigned into 2 groups a pre-pandemic group (n:214) and a pandemic group (n:145). Those participants (n:99) who had medical records in the follow-up period were classified into 3 subgroups according to the time of presentation and follow-up visits (group-1: first admission and follow-up visit before the pandemic, group-2: first admission before the pandemic, the follow-up visit during the pandemic, group-3: first admission and follow-up visit during the pandemic). Results: The age at presentation and age at pubertal onset were both significantly lower in the pandemic group than those in the pre-pandemic group(8.1 vs 8.6, p: < 0.001,7.7 vs 7.9,p:0.013, respectively). There was no significant difference between the body mass index standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS) values of the groups (0.57 vs 0.51, p:0.430). The initiation rate of pubertal suppression therapy at the time of presentation was significantly higher in the pandemic group compared to that of the pre-pandemic group (7.7%vs 27.5%), and in groups-2 & 3 compared to group-1, during follow-up (20%&44%vs 8%). Conclusion: Our research showed that the onset of puberty occurred earlier in the pandemic period compared to the previous year, and the need for pubertal suppression therapy increased during the pandemic.