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. 2016 Dec 15;12(12):1649-1657.
doi: 10.5664/jcsm.6352.

Growing Up With Type 1 Narcolepsy: Its Anthropometric and Endocrine Features

Free PMC article

Growing Up With Type 1 Narcolepsy: Its Anthropometric and Endocrine Features

Virginia Ponziani et al. J Clin Sleep Med. .
Free PMC article


Study objectives: To evaluate the effect of type 1 narcolepsy (NT1) on anthropometric and endocrine features in childhood/adolescence, focusing on patterns and correlates of weight, pubertal development, and growth in treated and untreated patients.

Methods: We collected anthropometric (height, weight, body mass index (BMI) z-scores), pubertal, metabolic, and endocrine data from 72 NT1 patients at diagnosis and all available premorbid anthropometric parameters of patients from their pediatric files (n = 30). New measurements at 1-y reassessment in patients undergoing different treatments were compared with baseline data.

Results: We detected a high prevalence of overweight (29.2%), obesity (25%), metabolic syndrome (18.8%), and precocious puberty (16.1%), but no signs of linear growth alterations at diagnosis. According to anthropometric records, weight gain started soon after NT1 onset. At 1-y follow-up reassessment, sodium oxybate treatment was associated with a significant BMI z-score reduction (-1.29 ± 0.30, p < 0.0005) after adjusting for baseline age, sex, sleepiness, and BMI.

Conclusions: NT1 onset in children/adolescents is associated with rapid weight gain up to overweight/obesity and precocious puberty without affecting growth. In our study, sodium oxybate treatment resulted in a significant weight reduction in NT1 overweight/obese patients at 1-y follow-up.

Keywords: growth; narcolepsy type 1; obesity; precocious puberty; sodium oxybate.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Body mass index (BMI) z-scores until NT1 onset.
The graph shows the individual time course of BMI z scores obtained through general pediatric records available in 30 patients at a mean age of 5.61 ± 2.49 y (T-2), and 6.64 ± 2.59 y (T-1), and at diagnosis (T0) with evidence of a significant increase occurring between T-1 and T0 around NT1 onset.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Body mass index (BMI) z-scores before NT1 onset and after one year of therapy.
The graph shows the individual evolution of BMI z-scores before diagnosis (T-2, T-1), at diagnosis (T0), and at 1-year follow-up (FU). Different treatments (labeled by color codes) were used after diagnosis with sodium oxybate inducing a significant reduction of BMI z-score.

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