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American Academy of Pediatrics

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Objective. To assess the stature of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus at diagnosis.

Methods. We collected data from 451 records of children who were examined in a pediatric diabetes clinic and used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 10 522 children as control group. Analytical techniques included linear and logistic regression modeling. A semiquantitative meta-analysis evaluated 38 earlier publications that contain information on height at the onset of diabetes.

Results. Children <1 year of age were shorter than their peers by 1 standard deviation, whereas those from 3 years to near puberty were taller by approximately 0.3 standard deviation. Adjusting for parental height caused this difference to disappear for the older children but not for the infants. The meta-analysis results paralleled these observations.

Conclusions. Taller children generally seem to experience increased risk for development of diabetes mellitus type 1, except perhaps during infancy or early adolescence. This observation may have implications regarding pathogenesis of this disorder.


Accepted version. Pediatrics, Vol. 109, No. 3 (March 2002): 479-483. DOI. © 2002 American Academy of Pediatrics. Used with permission.

Joan Totka was affiliated with Medical College of Wisconsin at the time of publication.

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