Girls as young as seven hitting puberty in US

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Washington, Aug 10 (ANI): A new research has revealed that girls in the U.S. are hitting puberty at earlier ages, which makes them prone to the risk of breast cancer in the later stages of life.

A new study has shown that American girls are hitting puberty as young as seven-years-old.

Jennifer Ashton said that the trend might be related to obesity and environmental toxins.

At age seven, about 10 percent of white girls and 23 percent of black girls had started developing breasts, compared to five percent of white girls and 15 percent of black girls in 1997, according to a study led by Dr. Frank Biro of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Biro's team examined about 1,200 girls aged seven and eight in Cincinnati, New York and San Francisco.

At age eight, about 18 percent of white girls and 43 percent of black girls had entered puberty, compared to around 11 percent of white girls in 1997, but the same as black girls in that year.

Early puberty in girls is a concern because studies have shown they are more likely to develop breast and uterine cancer later - women who spend more of their lives menstruating have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.

"There are a lot of factors at play, but there is growing concern about the environment-that substances found in certain plastics, like BPAs, and in fertilizers can mimic estrogen in the body and speed up the puberty clock," CBS News quoted Ashton as saying.

"Only a theory at this point, but most agree it warrants further study."

"Focus on diet and nutrition to maintain a healthy weight for your kids-keep them active and don't assume that early puberty or early breast development is the 'new normal.'

"If your daughter shows any signs of early puberty, it's always a good idea to have her seen by a doctor," advised Ashton.

The results were published in the journal Pediatrics. (ANI)

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