INTRODUCTION: Early puberty is development of secondary sex characteristics earlier than the expected normal age range. We subjectively observed an increased frequency of early puberty during the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) lockdown and aimed to show the clinical, demographic characteristics of the cases and the change in its incidence.
METHODS: Female patients with central precocious puberty (CPP, n=28) and rapidly progressive early puberty (RPEP, n=61), presenting to our clinic before (January 2019-March 2020) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020-June 2021) were included.
RESULTS: Among 28 CPP cases, six (21%) presented before the pandemic lockdown, whereas 22 (79%) were diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. While RPEP was seen in 16 (26%) patients before the pandemic, 45 (74%) patients were diagnosed during the lockdown period. Presentation with menarche was seen in 15 RPEP patients; two (13%) were in the prepandemic period and 13 (87%) were in the lockdown period. Chronological age, bone age, bone age to chronological age ratio, height, weight, and body mass index standard deviation scores of patients with RPEP and CPP were similar between the prepandemic and pandemic period.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: In this cohort, the frequency of CPP and RPP cases were significantly (p<0.001) increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly due to environmental changes.