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Characterization of the Correlation Between Ages at Entry Into Breast and Pubic Hair Development

Authors
Journal
Annals of Epidemiology
1047-2797
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
20
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.02.005
Keywords
  • Alspac
  • Maximum Likelihood Estimation
  • Puberty
Disciplines
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Purpose The timing of breast and pubic hair development in girls are related, but the degree of correlation has not been well characterized. Periodic observations also are complicated by interval censoring. Methods Data used were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Mean age at entry into breast and pubic hair development was determined by the use of parametric survival analysis. The bivariate normal cumulative distribution function was evaluated over the region containing the paired event times; the likelihood was maximized with respect to the correlation coefficient ρ. Results Among 3938 participants, estimated mean ages at entry into Tanner stage 2 for breast and pubic hair development were 10.19 and 10.95, respectively. The likelihood was maximized at ρ = 0.503 to 0.506. This value remained relatively constant among subgroups, although some heterogeneity was observed by maternal and child body mass index and birth order. Conclusions The timing of breast and of pubic hair development is moderately correlated and remain so when it is stratified by characteristics associated with puberty.

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