FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) have growth retardation, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Dalit Modan-Moses, M.D., from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel, and colleagues examined linear growth and adult height in female adolescents with AN in a prospective observational study involving 255 female adolescent AN patients hospitalized between Jan. 1, 2000, and May 31, 2015.

The researchers observed no significant difference in the premorbid height standard deviation scores (SDS) from those in normal adolescents. However, height-SDS was significantly lower than expected at admission, discharge, and adult height. Compared with the midparental target height, adult height was significantly shorter. Independent predictors of improvement in height SDS from the time of admission to adult height included age and bone age on admission; linear growth during hospitalization; and change in luteinizing hormone during hospitalization.

“Our findings emphasize the importance of early detection and initiation of treatment of AN in adolescents,” the authors write. “They further highlight the need for continuous and longstanding weight gain over an extended period to achieve catch-up growth up to the full potential, and to prevent irreversible tissue damage with long-term implications.”

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