|Basic InformationAdolescent Parenting IntroductionHealthy Teens: Food, Eating & Nutrition During AdolescenceHealthy Teens: Exercise and SportsHealthy Teens: SleepParenting Teens: Clothing Clashes, Housing Decisions, & Financial ManagementParenting Teens: Skincare, Cosmetics, Tattoos, & Piercings Caring for Teens: Healthcare for Teens and Young AdultsParenting Teens: Discipline, Love, Rules & ExpectationsA Parentís Guide to Protecting Teensí Health and SafetyAdolescent Parenting Summary & ConclusionAdolescent Parenting: References & ResourcesLatest News|Fewer U.S. Kids Binge DrinkingRegular Sleep Makes for Happier College StudentsMost U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'Medications Underutilized for Treating Youth Opioid AbuseDepression Inversely Linked to Body Composition in TeensPCSK9 Increased in Females, Youth With Type 1 DiabetesOpioid Abuse Jumps 6-Fold for U.S. Youth, Too Few Get Treated: StudyAre U.S. Teens Now as Inactive as 60-Year-Olds?Many Young Americans Using Snuff, Chewing TobaccoFirst Decline Seen in 'Vaping' Among U.S. Teens: CDCFactors Predictive of Parental Intent to Vaccinate Against HPVHealth Tip: Teach Teens About Dangerous Driving HabitsTeens With ADHD Face a Higher Crash RiskPoor Sleep Habits = Poor GradesBoys More Likely to Hide a Concussion Than GirlsHealth Tip: Graduating Teens, Take Care of Your HealthOverweight Kids Pay a Heavy Social PriceTeen Boys Treated for Assault Often Want Mental Health Care, TooWhy Teen Mental Ability Surges While Brain ShrinksElite High Schools Breed Higher Risk of Addiction: StudyNew Teen Drivers Face Triple the Risk of a Fatal CrashEvidence Lacking for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis ScreeningMany Teens Ride With Impaired DriversHow to Prepare Your Teen for That First Ob-Gyn VisitU.S. Teen Births Hit Historic Low: CDCTeasing Teens About Weight May Do Lasting HarmTrends in Teen Binge Drinking Still Raise ConcernsFewer U.S. Teens Are Boozing It UpFewer U.S. High School Students Drink, CDC FindsEarly Puberty in Girls May Be Risk Factor for Physical, Sexual AbuseHealth Tip: Teach Teens About Sun SafetyIs Early Puberty in Girls a Risk Factor for Dating Abuse?Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High SchoolPot a Factor in More ER Admissions for Colorado Teens After LegalizationTeen Suicide Thoughts, Self-Harm Cases Double in a DecadeReasons Why Parents Should Be Wary of '13 Reasons Why'Depression's Gender Gap Shows Up in Pre-Teen YearsHealth Tip: Parents, Set Rules About Driving for TeensRepeat Teen Births Still a Problem in United States: CDCIs Your Child Using Drugs?Puberty's Onset May Depend on DNAAt What Age Can Kids Safely Cross the Street?College Now the Place to Try Pot: StudyMoney Spent on Teen Health a Good Global InvestmentStudy Cites Factors Linked to Suicide in the YoungEarly School Start Times Tough on TeensMarijuana Use Higher in Pregnant Teens Than Nonpregnant PeersRegular Phys Ed Builds More Than FitnessWater Outperforms Sports Drinks for Young AthletesCross-Sex Hormones Appear to Be Safe for Transgender TeensQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Puberty's Onset May Depend on DNA
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Apr 25th 2017
TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hundreds of new genes tied to the start of puberty have been identified.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 369,000 women and pinpointed 389 genetic signals linked to the timing of puberty. That's four times the number that had been known.
The study also found new genetic evidence linking earlier puberty to increased risk in later life for several cancers that are sensitive to sex hormones. Those include breast, ovary and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.
"Previous studies suggested that the timing of puberty in childhood was associated with risks of disease decades later, but until now it was unclear if those were circumstantial observations, for example, secondary to other factors such as body weight," said study senior author John Perry. He is a senior investigator scientist in the epidemiology unit at the University of Cambridge in England.
The genetic influences remained after the researchers compensated for body weight. This is important because body weight influences the timing of puberty as well as the risk of some cancers.
"Our current study identifies direct causal links between earlier puberty timing itself and increased cancer risk," Perry said in a university news release. "This link could possibly be explained by higher levels of sex hormones throughout life, but we need to do more work to understand the exact mechanisms involved. We aim to understand these disease links and thereby contribute to the prevention of diseases in later life."
The start of puberty, which is when sexual maturity begins, varies widely from person to person but tends to be similar within families.
Earlier puberty may have some advantages, such as for boys playing competitive sports, but it appears to have mostly negative effects in later life, according to the researchers. Among them: higher risks of heart disease and some cancers.
The study also identified unusual variations in two so-called imprint genes -- ones that are active only when inherited from one parent but not the other.
"We identified rare variants in two genes, which both lower the age of puberty when inherited from your father, but have no effect when inherited from your mother. This is intriguing as it suggests that mothers and fathers might benefit differently from puberty occurring at earlier or later ages in their children," joint senior author Ken Ong said in the news release. Ong is head of the MRC Epidemiology Unit's Growth and Development program at the university.
The study was published April 24 in the journal Nature Genetics.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on puberty.
This article: Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.