University of Oulu

Suikkanen, J., Nurhonen, M., Cole, T.J. et al. Preterm birth and subsequent timing of pubertal growth, menarche, and voice break. Pediatr Res 92, 199–205 (2022).

Preterm birth and subsequent timing of pubertal growth, menarche, and voice break

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Author: Suikkanen, Julia1,2; Nurhonen, Markku1; Cole, Tim J.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Public Health and Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland
2Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Research Center, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
3UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, UK
4PEDEGO Research Unit, MRC Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
6INVEST Research Flagship, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
7Children, Adolescents and Families Unit, Department of Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu, Finland
8Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC–PHE Center for Environment & Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
9Center for Life Course Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
10Biocenter Oulu, Oulu, Finland
11Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
12Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-18


Background: We evaluated pubertal growth and pubertal timing of participants born preterm compared to those born at term.

Methods: In the ESTER Preterm Birth Study, we collected growth data and measured final height of men/women born very or moderately preterm (<34 gestational weeks, n = 52/55), late preterm (34–<37 weeks, 94/106), and term (≥37 weeks, 131/151), resulting in median 9 measurements at ≥6 years. Timing of menarche or voice break was self-reported. Peak height velocity (PHV, cm/year) and age at PHV (years) were compared with SuperImposition by Translation And Rotation (SITAR) model (sexes separately).

Results: Age at PHV (years) and PHV (cm/year) were similar in all gestational age groups. Compared to term controls, insignificant differences in age at PHV were 0.1 (95% CI: −0.2 to 0.4) years/0.2 (−0.1 to 0.4) for very or moderately/late preterm born men and −0.0 (−0.3 to 0.3)/−0.0 (−0.3 to 0.2) for women, respectively. Being born small for gestational age was not associated with pubertal growth. Age at menarche or voice break was similar in all the gestational age groups.

Conclusions: Timing of pubertal growth and age at menarche or voice break were similar in participants born preterm and at term.

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Series: Pediatric research
ISSN: 0031-3998
ISSN-E: 1530-0447
ISSN-L: 0031-3998
Volume: 92
Issue: 1
Pages: 199 - 205
DOI: 10.1038/s41390-021-01690-5
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: © The Author(s) 2021. This study was supported by Academy of Finland ((SALVE program for 2009–2012 and grants 127437, 129306, 130326, 134791, 263924, and 315690 to E.K., grant 288966 to P.H.); European Commission (Horizon 2020 Award SC1-2016-RTD-733280 RECAP to E.K.), European Commission (Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes (DIAL) (No. 724363 PremLife to E.K.)); the Doctoral Program for Public Health, University of Tampere (to M.S.); the Emil Aaltonen Foundation (to E.K.); the Finnish Foundation for Pediatric Research (to E.K. and P.H.); the Finnish Medical Foundation (to J.S.); the Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation (to E.K.); the Juho Vainio Foundation (to E.K., J.S., and M.T.); The Medical Research Council (grant MR/R010692/1 to T.J.C.); the Novo Nordisk Foundation (to E.K.); the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (to E.K.); the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation (to E.K.); and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation (to E.K. and M.S.). The funding sources played no role in the design of the study; the collection, analysis, interpretation, or reporting of data; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Open access funding provided by University of Helsinki including Helsinki University Central Hospital.
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