Growth and pubertal development in Down syndrome

Acta Paediatr. 1996 Sep;85(9):1102-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1996.tb14225.x.


Growth retardation and gonadal insufficiency are well-known features of Down syndrome. In this longitudinal study, 44 home-reared children and adolescents with Down syndrome, aged 10-24 years, living in the county of Uppsala, were followed yearly. The male patients had a mean final height above that reported previously, and a close correlation between target and final heights was found. The mean final height in the female patients was below that reported earlier. Mean peak height velocities in males and females were 8.5 and 7.3 cm year-1, respectively, significantly lower than in healthy children. The mean ages at peak height velocity were 12.3 and 10.8 years, respectively, indicating early growth spurts. The serum follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations, the small testes and the negative correlation between luteinizing hormone and testicular volume in the males may indicate some primary gonadal insufficiency. For the girls, mean menarcheal age corresponded closely to that of their mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Height
  • Child
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Puberty*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones