Background: Short stature is a prominent complaint for which children are referred to pediatric endocrinologists. Data on short stature is lacking in the Arab states in the gulf region despite the fact that treatment is easily accessible. The study aimed to describe the referral pattern, baseline characteristics, and etiological profile of children referred with short stature to a pediatric endocrine clinic in Kuwait.
Method: This is a cross-sectional retrospective review of children referred to the Endocrine Clinic at the Department of Pediatrics in a major hospital in Kuwait with the complaint of short stature between 2008 and 2015. Short stature was defined as height or length below the 3rd centile or less than −2 Standard Deviation Score (SDS) as per the WHO growth standards.
Results: A total of 221 children were referred during the study with no significant gender difference (P=0.346). Almost one fifth of these children had normal statural growth. At time referral, children with short stature were 7.7 (4.7, 10.3) years of age, mostly pre-pubertal (88.6%), and had a mean height SDS of −2.67 (0.68). There was no significant differences between males and females in relation to age, puberty status, height, BMI, and target height at the time of referral. The most common diagnoses were normal variants of growth, Growth hormone deficiency, and short stature secondary to chronic diseases.
Conclusion: Our study highlights the need to improve the referral process in order to avoid unnecessary investigations and alleviate parental anxiety. There is no gender bias in referral of children with short stature in Kuwait. Our data highlight the need for further investigation of children with short stature in the country and the region
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology