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J Adolesc Health Care. 1985 Nov;6(6):453-5.

Short stature in anorexia nervosa patients.


In the treatment of many anorexia nervosa (AN) patients, we observed clinically that these girls were short in stature. In order to test this hypothesis, we reviewed the height records of all patients seen with a previous diagnosis of AN in an eight-year period. Of 104 patients, 85 were suitable for study and were compared to a control group of 85 age-matched subjects. Seventy-six percent of the AN patients (mean age 15.8 years) were below the 50th height percentile for age; 14.1% were below the 5th percentile; and 25.8% were between the 25th and 49th percentile. Parental height was available for 35 subjects. The AN patients were significantly shorter than their parents, and comparison suggests an impairment of growth rather than a familial etiology. As 80% of subjects developed AN after menarche, malnutrition does not appear to be responsible for the observed height deficits.

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