Does Type 1 Play a Role in Pubertal Growth?

| Jul 1, 1998

The role that type 1 diabetes may or not play in the growth of kids with type 1 diabetes has been studied for some time. According to a study in the May issue of Diabetes Care, the timing of the pubertal growth is normal in type 1 children, but the magnitude of this growth is reduced in girls.

Researchers at the University of Oxford studied a group of 46 pre-puberty children with type 1 diabetes for three to eight years. Their height was measured every three months, as were several aspects of their diabetes and its control.

In contrast to several earlier studies, the timing of the onset of puberty and peak height velocity (PHV) were not significantly different from control subjects without diabetes. However, the girls with diabetes studied had reduced PHV and a subsequent loss of height during puberty compared to the boys.

The authors note that these differences cannot be explained by differences in blood glucose control as HbA1c values during PHV were identical. "Furthermore, in the years leading up to PHV, HbA1c levels were lower in girls," they add. The IGF-I (insulin growth factor) levels were closely related to the insulin doses and could not explain the differences between the growth rates either.

Apart form age and sex, the only other important determinate of PHV in the study was bone age - the stage of development of bone as determined by x-ray in comparison to chronological age. The girls had a relatively advanced bone age which, "could reflect differential effects of sex steroids in the regulation of growth," the authors note. They add that the girls' advanced bone age "may explain their subsequent blunted pubertal growth spurt."

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Categories: A1c Test, Adolescent Boys, Adolescent Girls, Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Insulin, Kids & Teens, Professional Issues, Type 1 Issues

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