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Volume 21, Issue 6 (November 2019) 21, 551–556; 10.4103/aja.aja_3_19

Timing of pubertal development in boys born with cryptorchidism and hypospadias: a nationwide cohort study

Linn Håkonsen Arendt1,2, Andreas Ernst1, Lea Lykke Braskhøj Lauridsen1, Nis Brix1, Jørn Olsen3, Cecilia Høst Ramlau-Hansen1

1 Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus 8000, Denmark
2 Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus 8000, Denmark
3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus 8000, Denmark

Correspondence: Dr. LH Arendt (lha@ph.au.dk)



Pubertal development may be altered in boys with cryptorchidism and hypospadias, but existing knowledge is inconsistent. Therefore, we investigated the association between cryptorchidism and hypospadias and pubertal development in a large cohort study. Boys in the Puberty Cohort, a cohort nested within the Danish National Birth Cohort, were included in this study. Information on cryptorchidism and hypospadias was retrieved from the Danish National Patient Register. From 11 years until 18 years or full pubertal development, information on physical markers of pubertal development was provided biannually, including Tanner stages, axillary hair, acne, voice break, and first ejaculation. In multivariate regression models for interval censored data, the mean (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) differences in months in obtaining the pubertal markers between boys with and without the anomalies were estimated. Among 7698 boys, 196 (2.5%) had cryptorchidism and 60 (0.8%) had hypospadias. Boys with hypospadias experienced first ejaculation and voice break 7.7 (95% CI: 2.5–13.0) months and 4.5 (95% CI: 0.3–8.7) months later than boys without hypospadias. The age at attaining the Tanner stages for gonadal and pubic hair growth was also higher, though not statistically significant. Pubertal development seemed unaffected in boys with mild as well as severe cryptorchidism. In conclusion, hypospadias may be associated with delayed pubertal development, but pubertal development seems unaffected by cryptorchidism. The relation between hypospadias and later pubertal development may be due to the underlying shared in utero risk or genetic factors.

Keywords: congenital abnormalities; cryptorchidism; hypospadias; prenatal exposure delayed effects; puberty; Tanner stages

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