Posts Tagged ‘ child height ’

Growth Hormone Linked with Depression in Kids

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Children who are short but otherwise healthy, and who are treated with growth hormone (GH) do in fact become taller, but they also are at increased risk of suffering from depression as they grow older, according to new research presented to the a joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society.  The findings compared kids who received GH treatment to kids who were of similar height and age but did not receive treatment.  Kids who received treatment had more psychological and psychosocial issues than those who did not–although the researchers urged more research on whether it’s the treatment itself or the culture around receiving treatment that had the greatest impact on mental health.  More from ScienceDaily:

“Daily injections, frequent clinic visits and repeated discussions about height might exacerbate instead of improve psychosocial concerns in children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) who are otherwise healthy, and give them no cognitive improvements,” said lead author Emily C. Walvoord, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

While the link between using GH to increase height and improved psychological adaptation is being debated, early data suggest that the subtle cognitive problems seen in adults with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) might also occur in children with GHD and might improve with treatment.

Dr. Walvoord and her colleagues evaluated the cognitive and behavioral status of children with GHD and ISS after they received either GH therapy or observation alone, and their preliminary results presented here challenge the idea that improvements in height also result in improvements in psychological functioning. Their findings also raise the concern that GH treatment of these otherwise healthy children might even worsen their emotional symptoms.

Image: Short child, via Shutterstock

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Depressed Mothers May Have Shorter Children

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Mothers who suffer from severe postpartum depression in the months after having their babies may actually have children who are shorter than their peers, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found.  From MSNBC.com:

Researchers who followed more than 6,000 mothers and babies found that when moms reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression in the nine months following delivery, their children were more likely to be shorter than others as kindergarteners, according to the report published in the journal Pediatrics.

In fact, 5-year-olds with moms who’d suffered symptoms of postpartum depression were almost 50 percent more likely than their peers to be in the shortest 10 percent of kids that age.

The new research doesn’t explain how kids with depressed moms end up shorter. That’s something the researchers are looking into right now, said the study’s lead author Pamela J. Surkan, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Surkan suspects, however, that depression might get in the way of nurturing.

“We think that mothers who are depressed or blue might have a hard time following through with caregiving tasks,” Surkan said.

Image: Child playing, via Shutterstock

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