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

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


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.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Narcolepsy / complications*
  • Narcolepsy / physiopathology
  • Overweight / complications*
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Puberty*

Supplementary concepts

  • Narcolepsy 1