arrow  Longitudinal Study on Growth of Indian
    Children During Adolescence [10 - 16 Years]

Sexual maturity in girls

Appearance of Pubic Hair

In majority of the girls pubic hair appeared before axillary hair. Pubic hair had started appearing in some girls before the age of 12 years by which more than 24 per cent of the girls from all centres except Varanasi, were observed to have it. By the age of 15 years, pubic hair had appeared in 78.2 (Varanasi) to 100 per cent (Hyderabad) of the girls at various centres (Fig. 44). The mean age, weight and height at appearance of pubic hair in these girls was between 11.9 (Chandigarh) to 13.5 (Varanasi) years, 26.3 (Vellore rural) to 33.3 kg. (Varanasi) and between 134.3 (Vellore rural) to 143.3 cm. (Delhi urban slum) respectively (Table 31).

Appearance of Axillary Hair

Axillary hair in girls had also started appearing before the age of 12 years, by which 7.5 (Vellore rural) to 22.2 (Chandigarh) per cent were observed to have it. By the age of 15 years 74.8 (Vellore rural) to 98.0 (Hyderabad) per cent of girls had axillary hair (Fig. 45). In these girls the mean age at appearance of axillary hair was between 12.9, (Chandigarh) to 13.4 (Varanasi) years, mean weight 31.3 (Chandigarh) to 35.6 (Vellore urban slum) kg. and mean height between 142.7 (Chandigarh) to 146.5 (Vellore urban slum) cm. (Table 32).

Onset of Menarche

Menarche was reported in 16.9 (Delhi urban slum) to 70.1 per cent (Vellore urban slum) of the girls by the age of 15 years from different study areas. Excluding Delhi sample, where less than 17 percent were reported to have reached menarche, mean age, weight and height at onset of menarche in these girls varied between 13.0 to 14.0 years, 35.5 to 39.0 kg. and 143.8 to 149.0 cm. (Table 33). A difference of 4 to 6 kg. in mean weight and 4 to 7 cms. in mean height was observed between the girls who had attained menarche and the total study sample at similar age points. It was observed that public and axillary hair in girls appeared before menarche (Fig. 46).

Breast development

The assessment of age at reaching different stages of breast development in girls was done in the same manner as genitalia development in boys. At the time of completion of this study the percentage of girls in stage V of breast development was as low as 5.0 (Varanasi) to 48.7 (Vellore urban slum) per cent at different centres. The mean age at attaining state II, III, IV and V varied between centres from 11.3 (Delhi urban slum) to 12.3 (Vellore rural) years,

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