Girls at a younger age are starting to hit puberty before they even have a chance to enter their teens. Conclusions from a new study during 2004 to 2006 appeared to only affect Caucasian girls possibly from increased obesity and exposure to environmental chemicals.
Dr. Frank Biro, explains that while Black and Hispanic girls have historically matured earlier than White girls, the playing field is now evening out. While only a decade ago, 5% of girls at the 7 started to show signs of puberty, the percent has doubled to 10.4.
“White girls are catching up.” (cnn.com)
There are numerous potential health consequenes to the early onset of puberty. Not only does it raise concern for higher risk of breast cancer development, there are emotional consequences as well, subjecting girls at a younger age to depression because of social anxiety, eating disorders, and most frightening of all early sexual behavior.
“These findings are a wake-up call that we should be thinking about prevention and urging adolescents to come in for preventive visits, to get routine breast exams and learn to look for lumps and bumps,” says Dr. Sarah Pitts, a pediatrician in the adolescent division of Children’s Hospital Boston. “Time will only tell how early puberty will affect later health, but I do think the study makes it that much more important for people to go to [the] doctor and get regular physical exams so we can learn what those health issues might be.” (time.com)