Changes in Fasting Lipids during Puberty

Mona A. Eissa*, Nicole L. Mihalopoulos, Richard Holubkov, Shifan Dai, Darwin R. Labarthe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective To describe longitudinal changes in plasma lipid levels and pubertal stage in youths from age 8-18 years, in Project HeartBeat! Study design Fasting blood samples and pubertal stage, using physical assessment of secondary sex characteristics, were obtained every 4 months for up to 4 years in a mixed longitudinal study of 633 children (49.1% female, 20.1% black), initially aged 8, 11, and 14 years. Total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), and nonhigh density lipoprotein-cholesterol measurements were obtained. Data were collected from 1991-1995. Results Pubertal stage correlations with age varied among all race-sex groups (range, r = 0.61-0.70), and a given pubertal stage could represent a range of 5 years or more of chronological age. Throughout puberty, levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and nonhigh density lipoprotein-cholesterol decreased, TG in males increased, and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and TG in females showed no changes. Within a given pubertal stage, plasma lipid levels tended to differ by race, sex, or both. Conclusions Lipid levels change markedly by pubertal stage, and patterns differ by sex and race. Chronological age ranges widely within a given pubertal stage and is an insensitive indicator of pubertal stage and the related changes in lipid levels. Pubertal development should be considered when determining screening criteria to identify youths with adverse blood lipid levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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