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J R Soc Med. 1987 Jan;80(1):9-12.

Growth impairment in children with atopic eczema.


Growth was studied in 89 children with atopic eczema aged 1-16 years. Nine (10%) had a standing height below the 3rd centile. Both boys and girls had significantly reduced sitting height but normal subischial leg length, and both sexes had significantly delayed skeletal maturity scores. Impaired growth was particularly associated with widespread eczema, but also with the presence of asthma and the potency of topical corticosteroid. Six of the 15 patients with a corrected height centile below the 10th centile had been receiving potent (British National Formulary category I or II) topical corticosteroids. This study suggests that impaired linear growth is a feature of atopic eczema. While the causes of the growth impairment are unclear, there is a need for caution in the use of potent topical corticosteroids in children.

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