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Med J Aust. 2013 Jan 21;198(1):29-32.

Growth and pubertal development of adolescent boys on stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
Sydney Medical School Nepean, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. alison.poulton@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the growth and pubertal attainment of boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on stimulant medication.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Longitudinal study of boys aged 12.00-15.99 years at recruitment in 2005-2011, with stimulant-treated ADHD for at least 3 years, attending three paediatric practices (subjects), compared with longitudinal data from 174 boys from the Nepean longitudinal study (controls).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Subjects' growth parameters before treatment were compared with controls aged 7 or 8 years; growth parameters and longitudinal changes on treatment to ages 12.00-13.99 and 14.00-15.99 years were compared with controls reviewed at 13 and 15 years of age, respectively. The subjects' pubertal staging and height velocity were related to their treatment history.

RESULTS:

Sixty-five subjects were recruited; mean duration of treatment was 6.3 ± 1.9 years. At baseline, their growth parameters were not significantly different from those of the controls after adjusting for age. Compared with the controls, after adjusting for current age and baseline growth parameter z score, subjects aged 12.00-13.99 years had significantly lower weight and body mass index (P < 0.01), and those aged 14.00-15.99 years had significantly lower height and weight (P < 0.05). At 12.00-13.99 years of age, the subjects were comparable to the controls in their pubertal development adjusted for age, but those aged 14.00-15.99 years reported significant delay (mean Tanner stage, 3.6 for subjects v 4.0 for controls; P < 0.05). The dose of medication was inversely correlated with the height velocity from baseline to 14.00-15.99 years of age (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Prolonged treatment (more than 3 years) with stimulant medication was associated with a slower rate of physical development during puberty. To maintain adequate height velocity during puberty, we recommend keeping the dose as low as possible.

PMID:
23330767
DOI:
10.5694/mja12.10931
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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