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Horm Res Paediatr. 2013;80(4):221-8. doi: 10.1159/000354305. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Endocrine problems in children and adolescents who have disabilities.

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Department of Endocrinology, and Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Vic., Australia.


The consequences of disability span almost all aspects of life, for families and for an affected individual. Endocrine aspects of disability cover disorders of hypothalamic pituitary dysfunction, bone health, puberty, fertility, sexual function and contraceptive needs. Adequate endocrine assessment for a child with a disability requires extensive and sensitive history to address social issues, general nutrition, vitamin D status, specific hypothalamic pituitary problems, together with parental concerns regarding puberty and contraception. Bone health assessment includes history of minimal trauma fracture, need for intervention or fitness for surgery. Strategic interventions to improve outcome include management of puberty, vitamin D status, biomechanical stimulation with vibration and standing and possible consideration for bisphosphonate in special circumstances. Both early and late puberty cause major family concerns. The paediatrician must be aware of a range of management options to improve outcomes for the child and family.

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