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J Pediatr. 2012 Jun;160(6):900-3.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.007. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Growth in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.



To investigate the effect of type 1 diabetes on growth and adult height.


Data from 22 651 children (10 494 females) with type 1 diabetes documented at onset of the disease from specialized centers in Germany and Austria were analyzed. Patients of non-German and non-Austrian origin and patients with celiac disease were excluded from the analysis. Near-adult height data were available in 1685 patients.


At the time of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, the mean age of the 22 651 children was 8.8 ± 4.2 years, with a mean height SDS of 0.22 ± 1.0. The 1685 patients with diabetes onset before age 11 years reached a mean adult height of -0.16 ± 1.0 SDS. Mean adult height was was 167.1 ± 6.2 cm (-0.16 ± 0.97 SDS) in females (n = 846) and 179.6 ± 7.1 cm (-0.17 ± 1.0 SDS) in males (n = 839). Mean duration of diabetes was 9.1 ± 2.6 years, and mean Hemoglobin A1c concentration was 7.9% ± 1.2% (63 ± 10 mmol/mol). In a multivariate regression model, adult height was positively correlated with height at onset of diabetes (P < .0001) and negatively with mean Hemoglobin A1c (P < .0001) and duration of diabetes (P = .0015).


Height at the time of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is above average. Even with intensive insulin therapy, growth and adult height remain indicators of metabolic diabetes control in the 21st century.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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