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Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

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Volume 26, Issue 9-10 (Oct 2013)


The relationship between adiposity and stature in prepubertal children with celiac disease

Benjamin Udoka Nwosu
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue, North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
  • Email:
/ Rachel I. Snook
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue, North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
/ Louise Maranda
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue, North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
Published Online: 2013-05-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2012-0312


Background and aim: The pathogenesis of short stature in celiac disease (CD) is unknown. Obese children are generally taller than their non-obese peers; however, the role of adiposity on stature in CD is unclear. Our aim was to determine the association between adiposity and stature in CD.

Subjects and methods: We compared the anthropometric characteristics of prepubertal children of ages 3–12 years, with biopsy-proven CD (n=40) and who were not on gluten-free diet, to same aged, prepubertal non-CD children (n=50). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using the formula weight/height2. Sex-adjusted midparental target height (MPTH) standard deviation score (SDS) was calculated using National Children Health Statistics data for 18-year-old adults. Data were expressed as mean±standard deviation.

Results: CD subjects had significantly lower BMI SDS than controls (0.61±1.22 vs. 1.28±1.60, p=0.027) but were not significantly shorter than the controls (–0.05±1.21 vs. 0.21±1.71, p=0.41). When the patients were subdivided into the normal-weight and overweight/obese groups, the normal-weight CD patients were of similar height as the normal-weight controls (p=0.76) but were significantly shorter than both the overweight/obese controls (p<0.001) and overweight/obese CD children (p<0.001). Interestingly, the overweight/obese CD children were significantly taller than the normal-weight controls (p=0.003). The MPTH SDS did not differ between the groups.

Conclusions: Overweight/obese prepubertal children with CD were taller than both their normal-weight CD peers and the normal-weight controls, but were of similar height as the overweight/obese control subjects.

Keywords: celiac disease; obesity; stature


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About the article

Corresponding author: Benjamin U. Nwosu, MD, Associate Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA, Phone: +508-334-7872, Fax: +508-856-4287, E-mail:

Received: 2012-10-04

Accepted: 2013-04-15

Published Online: 2013-05-24

Published in Print: 2013-10-01

Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2012-0312. Export Citation

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