Impaired Growth in Asian Children with Lupus
A new study from Bangkok shows that nearly one in four children diagnosed with lupus develop impaired growth. Stunted growth, which is potentially irreversible and can affect one’s quality of life, is the most common complication in people with childhood-onset lupus (cSLE). While previous research has focused on risk factors for impaired growth among other populations, there has been limited data on such risk factors in Asian children.
In the latest study, researchers assessed medical record data of 106 girls and boys in Bangkok who were diagnosed with lupus before age 15. On average, subjects achieved their final adult height at 17.5 years of age, and researchers observed growth impairment in 23.6% of the study participants. About 52% of the boys had growth impairment compared to about 17% of girls.
Risk factors associated with stunted growth included:
- Male sex
- In boys, older age at adult voice change
- In girls, older age at menarche (a girl’s first period)
- Greater exposure to corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medications, like prednisone) before the last phase of puberty
Growth is an important indicator of a child’s well-being, and early recognition and prevention of growth impairment in children with cSLE is crucial. Learn more about lupus and children.
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