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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Normal growth of a child or adolescent likely indicates his or her good general health and well-being. However, there is great variability in the heights and weights that are within the range of normal. Abnormally slow growth may indicate a pathological process or disruption of the environment. Height is a genetically determined parameter, but, at least in the human, it is affected by the interactions of hundreds of genes. In otherwise well children, perhaps 80% of the variance is inherited. Pubertal maturation follows a “fixed” sequence in boys and girls, but its timing and tempo are both determined by the interactions of multiple genes. Environmental effects may play a role in the early initiation of puberty in the obese and the delayed initiation in those with caloric deprivation. Subjects with pathologic growth trajectories deserve medical evaluation because those processes may be abrogated with proper treatment.

Keywords: growth, growth curve, genetics, nutrition, genome-wide association study

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