Background: Although differences in pubertal timing alters frequency of indicators of attained stature at the extremes, its magnitude is unknown across ethnic groups of US youths.
Methods: We performed analyses of anthropometry and Tanner staging data of 3206 cross-sectional national sample of youths ages 818y (53% male (n=1606), 72% Non-Hispanic White (NHW), 9% Mexican American (MA) and 19% Non-Hispanic Black (NHB). Specialized Tanner-stage-age growth models were used to derive Tanner-age adjusted Z-scores. The prevalence of short (<−1S.D.) and tall (>=+1S.D.) status was quantified after adjustment for Tanner stage-age height Z-scores (TSAHAZ). We then examined average growth patterns with age splines across estimated Z-scores by sex and race/ethnicity.
Results: Highly variable patterns of prevalence of shortness and tallness via chronologic-age height Z-score (CAHAZ) was observed in results stratified by Tanner stages, race-ethnicity and sex. Tallness CAHAZ prevalence was high among NHW and NHB males relative to MA (40.0 43.3, vs 20.5%) and in females, the ranking was (39.2% NHB > NHW 29.6 > MA 20.3, each P=0.0167). In both sexes, this pattern was eliminated with TSAHAZ, with MA youth becoming statistically not different from their NHW and NHB peers on both stature indicators.
Conclusions: Differences in timing of puberty between race-ethnic groups affects estimated prevalence of shortness and tallness of attained height. Considerable pubertal maturation effects remain uncaptured with age-conditioned height Z-scores. Adjustment for pubertal development might help isolate crucial determinants of attained stature and other aspects of body composition which may be most responsive to intervention programs in populations of youths.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology