Short Stature in Children

Short stature is a term applied to a kid whose height is 2 standard deviations (SD) or more beneath the mean for children of that sex and chronologic age (and ideally of the same racial-ethnic group). This links to a height that is below the 2.3rd percentile. Short stature may be either a variant of normal growth progress or triggered by an illness.

The most common causes of short stature beyond the first year or two of life are genetic short stature and delayed (constitutional) growth, which are normal, non-pathological variations of growth. The goal of the evaluation of a child with short stature is to identify the subset of children with pathologic causes (such as Turner syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or other underlying systemic disease, or growth hormone deficiency). The evaluation also assesses the severity of the short stature and likely growth trajectory, to facilitate decisions about intervention, if appropriate

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the most common cause of short stature in children?

    The most common cause of short stature is having parents whose height is below average, but around 5 percent of children with short stature have a medical condition. Conditions that can underlie short stature include: undernutrition, due to a disease or lack of nutrients.

  • Can short stature be cured?

    But like a word of disturbance in growth, child’s short stature might be caused by some kind of disease so that the treatment for that particular disease is necessary. Even though that particular disease can not be cured completely, adequate treatment may improve short stature (disturbance of growth) condition.

  • What conditions cause short stature?

    Many disorders can cause short stature, including achondroplasia, hormone deficiency, delayed puberty, Cushing’s disease, malnutrition, malabsorption disorders, such as celiac disease, and others. A child must be examined by a health care provider if short stature is suspected or present.

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