Age of onset of a normally timed pubertal growth spurt affects the final height of children Academic Article uri icon


  • The exact nature of the relationship between the age of onset of puberty and final height in normally maturing children is controversial. Some authors have claimed that the age of pubertal onset does not affect final height and others have claimed the opposite. We hypothesized that both height and the age of onset of the pubertal growth spurt (PGS) are correlated to final height. The height measurements of 335 children (162 girls) were analyzed in an observational retrospective study. The age and height at the onset of the PGS were computed from the equations of the Karlberg's infancy-childhood-puberty model. A very low correlation was found between the age of onset of the PGS and final height. However, the correlation became very high when the parameter "height at onset of the PGS" was included in the regression analysis. The model was found reliable when tested on growth data of 60 Israeli children. Final height is influenced by both height and the age of onset of the PGS in normal maturing children. A normal but early puberty exerts a negative effect on final height. A delayed PGS exerts a positive effect on final height.Pediatric Research (2015); doi:10.1038/pr.2015.104.

publication date

  • May 28, 2015