Pubertal Growth and Adult Height According to Age at Pubertal Growth Spurt Onset: Data from a Spanish Study Including 540 Subjects (281 Boys and 259 Girls)

  • Antonio Carrascosa
  • Angel Ferrández
  • Laura Audí
  • Elena Sánchez


Longitudinal growth studies show that age at pubertal growth spurt onset occurs as a continuum and is sex dependent. However, mainly due to the scant number of subjects included, these studies tend to present data on pubertal growth as for a single group, without considering the different maturity tempo of each subject included in them. Here, we present anthropometric pubertal growth data for five 1-year-interval age maturity groups, very early, early, intermediate, late, and very late, from a longitudinal growth study of 540 healthy subjects (281 girls and 259 boys). The onset of pubertal growth spurt began between the ages of 8 and 13 in girls and 10 and 15 in boys. According to age at pubertal growth spurt onset, subjects were allocated to the corresponding 1-year-interval age maturity group: very early, early, intermediate, late, and very late. A significant number of subjects were included in each group (75–101 for girls and 59–106 for boys) except in the very early (27 girls and 25 boys) and very late (19 girls and 17 boys) groups. Anthropometric pubertal data (total pubertal growth gain (cm), pubertal growth peak (cm/year), and adult height) were obtained for each of the five pubertal maturity groups in both sexes. In both sexes, the earlier the start of pubertal growth spurt was, the higher the peak height velocity, the total pubertal height gain, and the puberty duration were. Height at onset of pubertal growth spurt was lower in the early than in the late maturity groups. Adult heights were similar and did not differ significantly among the five pubertal maturity groups. Values for all five groups taken together, as a single group, were also similar to those of the intermediate group. Height-for-age and growth velocity-for-age growth charts for the early, intermediate, and late pubertal maturity groups were made. In summary, anthropometric data on pubertal growth are reported for five 1-year-interval age maturity groups according to age at pubertal growth spurt onset. These data might contribute to better clinical evaluation of pubertal growth according to the individual pubertal maturity tempo of each subject and help to avoid the mistakes currently made in the evaluation of pubertal growth when only one pubertal pattern (based on the data of the five groups taken together) is used.


Adult Height Maturity Group Growth Chart Testicular Volume Pubertal Growth 



Body mass index



We acknowledge L. Baguer, MD, C. Rueda, MD, J. Bosch-Castañé, MD, M. Gussinyé, Ph.D., D. Yeste, Ph.D., J.I. Labarta, Ph.D., E. Mayayo, Ph.D., M. Fernández-Cancio, Ph.D., M.A. Albisu, Ph.D., M. Clemente, Ph.D., C. Fernández, MD, U. Aresti, Ph.D. for their contribution in the follow-up of these patients. We also acknowledge Francisco Hernandez for his help in growth chart construction and Christine O’Hara for her help with the English version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Carrascosa
    • 1
  • Angel Ferrández
    • 2
    • 3
  • Laura Audí
    • 1
  • Elena Sánchez
    • 4
  1. 1.Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Institut de Rercerca Biomédica, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER) ISC IIIHospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron, Universidad Autónoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Endocrinology Unit, Department of PediatricsChildren’s Hospital Miguel ServetZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Andrea Prader Growth and Development CenterZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Endocrinology Unit, Department of PediatricsHospital Universitario de Basurto, Universidad del País Vasco, Fundación Faustino OrbegozoBilbaoSpain

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