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      Idiopathic Short Stature: Reflections on Its Definition and Spontaneous Growth

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          Background: Despite clarification of the term idiopathic short stature (ISS) provided by an international consensus group, several points of discussion remain. Methods and Results: Various cut-off limits can be used for the definition of ‘short’, and in the absence of recent population-based references, decisions have to be taken about which reference to use, whether corrections for secular trend have to be made, and which references should be used for ethnic minorities. For the definition of ‘idiopathic’, decisions have to be taken regarding which disorders should be excluded and by which tools; how to deal with the fluid border between ISS and persistent short stature after being born small for gestational age; and which limit of disproportion is acceptable. Conclusions: Distinguishing between the two subclasses of ISS, familial short stature (FSS) versus non-familial short stature (non-FSS), requires a decision as to which of the various formulas for the parent-specific lower limit of height standard deviation score should be used, particularly when comparing final height with prepubertal height, predicted adult height, and target height. The distinction between FSS and non-FSS is also important for evaluating spontaneous growth in children with ISS.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Towards a Consensus on the Definition of Idiopathic Short Stature

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            The Calculation of Target Height Reconsidered

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              Height, weight, body mass index and pubertal development references for children of Moroccan origin in The Netherlands.

              To provide growth and sexual maturation reference data for Moroccan children living in The Netherlands and to compare them with the reference data of children of Dutch origin. Cross-sectional growth and demographic data were collected from 2880 children of Moroccan origin and 14,500 children of Dutch origin living in The Netherlands in the age range 0-20 y. Growth references for length, height, weight, weight-for-height, body mass index (BMI) and head circumference were constructed with the LMS method. Predictive variables for height and BMI were assessed by regression analyses. Reference curves for sexual maturation were estimated by a generalized additive model. Moroccan young adults were on average 9 cm shorter than their Dutch contemporaries. Mean final height was 174.7 cm for males and 161.3 cm for females. Height differences in comparison with Dutch children increase from 2 y onwards. Height SDS was predominantly associated with target height. Compared to Dutch children, maturation started 0.2 and 0.9 y later for girls and boys, respectively. Median age at menarche was 12.9 y, 3.6 mo earlier than in Dutch girls (p = 0.001). BMI of Moroccan children was above that of Dutch children, especially for girls. BMI SDS was associated with birthweight in the age group 0 - < or = 5 y. Moroccan children living in The Netherlands are substantially shorter than Dutch children. Girls have higher weight-for-height and BMI for age. Median age at menarche occurs earlier. Given these differences, separate growth charts for the Moroccan children are useful.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                February 2007
                15 February 2007
                : 67
                : Suppl 1
                : 50-57
                Department of Pediatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
                97553 Horm Res 2007;67:50–57
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 24, Pages: 8
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