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BMJ. 1994 May 14;308(6939):1259-63.

Juvenile onset inflammatory bowel disease: height and body mass index in adult life.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To establish the frequency of permanent growth failure in juvenile onset inflammatory bowel disease.

DESIGN:

Measurement of height and weight in a geographically based cohort at a mean of 14 (range 5.2-29.5) years after diagnosis. Comparison with data from surveys of British adults in 1980 and 1987.

SETTING:

NHS hospitals throughout Scotland.

SUBJECTS:

105 Children admitted to hospital during 1968-83 who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and lived in specified regions. 87 were aged over 18 and living in Britain at follow up.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Height, weight, body mass index, and sexual maturity.

RESULTS:

All patients were sexually mature. 67 of the 70 patients examined were of normal height, and three women with Crohn's disease were abnormally short. Weight and body mass index were normal in all patients with ulcerative colitis. Patients with Crohn's disease had significantly lower weight than those with ulcerative colitis (men 66.8 (9.5) kg v 78.4 (13.8) kg, P = 0.04; women 51.5 (8.2) kg v 63.0 (12.1) kg, P < 0.02) irrespective of disease activity. Body mass index was also significantly lower than the normal distribution (P < 0.01). Growth retardation was not mentioned as a problem for any of the 17 patients interviewed only by telephone.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite growth retardation in the teenage years most young people with inflammatory bowel disease will eventually achieve normal height. Reasons for lower weight in patients with Crohn's disease remain to be established.

PMID:
8205017
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2540211
Free PMC Article
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