Pediatric Premature Adrenarche (PA)

Pediatric Premature Adrenarche (PA)



Pediatric premature adrenarche (PA) is the start of hormonal and physical changes before they normally occur.

Expanded overview

Puberty typically occurs between the ages of 10 and 14 for girls and 12 and 16 for boys*. If a child has premature adrenarche, changes will begin around age 8 or 9 when the adrenal gland starts producing hormones.


The exact cause of premature adrenarche is often unknown. It can be a symptom of a condition that causes a hormonal imbalance, such as:


Symptoms of premature adrenarche include:

  • Body odor, especially in the armpits
  • Oily skin
  • Pubic hair growth
  • Unexplained and rapid growth (often above the 90th percentile)


*Age of puberty is middle childhood to teenage years as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

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