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J Pediatr. 2013 Dec;163(6):1759-1763.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Oct 6.

Patterns of growth in ambulatory males with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO. Electronic address: nancy.west@ucdenver.edu.



To provide weight-for-age, height-for-age, and body mass index-for-age growth reference standards for ambulatory, steroid-naïve males, ages 2-12 years, with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and to compare these growth curves to the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts for boys, which serve as references of physical size and growth for the general male pediatric population in the US.


Through a multi-state population-based surveillance of individuals with muscular dystrophy, a total of 1877 weight and 1544 height measurements ascertained during 1985-2010 from 513 males with DMD were obtained retrospectively from medical record review. Cases were classified as DMD if loss of ambulation occurred before the 12th birthday or, if younger than 12 years and still ambulating, the earliest symptoms of dystrophinopathy occurred before the 6th birthday. Each growth chart was constructed using 5 percentiles: 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th. Smoothing procedures were applied in 2 stages to the irregular plots of the empirical percentile values.


A set of growth curves, derived from a large cohort of male youth with DMD, are presented. These curves demonstrate that DMD males are shorter and tend to the extremes of weight and body mass index compared with the general male pediatric population in the US.


Charts representing the pattern of growth in ambulatory, steroid-naïve males with DMD can facilitate monitoring of growth and early detection of unusual growth patterns. Use of these growth standards also will assist in monitoring responses to corticosteroid treatment.

Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


BMI; Body mass index; CDC; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; DMD; DMD/BMD; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Duchenne muscular dystrophy or Becker muscular dystrophy; MD STARnet; Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking, and Research Network

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