A Prospective Longitudinal Assessment of Linear Growth and Adult Height in Female Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa.

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Growth retardation is an established complication of anorexia nervosa (AN), however findings concerning adult height of AN patients are inconsistent.To assess linear growth and adult height in female adolescents with AN.Prospective observational study.Tertiary University Hospital.All 255 female adolescent AN patients hospitalized in the pediatric psychosomatic department between 1/1/2000- 31/5/2015.Height and weight were assessed at admission and during hospitalization. Patients were subsequently invited for measurement of adult height. Additional data collected included pre-morbid height data, menstrual history, skeletal age, pertinent laboratory studies and parental heights.Adult height.Mean age at admission was 15.4±1.75 years, mean BMI was 15.7±1.8 kg/m2 (BMI SDS = -2.3±1.45). Pre-morbid height standard deviation scores (SDS) were not significantly different from those expected in normal adolescents (0.005±0.96). However, height-SDS at admission (-0.36±0.99), discharge (-0.34±0.96), and at adult height (-0.29± 0.95), were significantly (p<0.001) lower than expected. Furthermore, adult height was significantly (p=0.006) shorter compared to the mid-parental target height. Stepwise forward linear regression analysis identified age (r=0.32, p=0.002) and bone age (r=-0.29, p=0.006) on admission, linear growth during hospitalization (r=0.47, p<0.001), and change in LH during hospitalization (r=-0.265, p=0.021) as independent predictors of improvement in height SDS from the time of admission to adult height.Whereas the premorbid height of female adolescent AN patients is normal, linear growth retardation is a prominent feature of their illness. Weight restoration is associated with catch-up growth, but complete catch-up is often not achieved.

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