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Growth variation, final height and secular trend : proceedings of the 17th Aschauer Soiree, 7th November 2009

  • Growth and body height have always been topics interesting to the public. In particular, the stupendous increase of some 15-19 cm in final adult height during the last 150 years in most European countries (the "secular trend"), the concomitant changes in body and head proportions, the tendency towards early onset of sexual maturation, the changes in the age when final height is being reached, and the very recent trend in body mass index, have generated much scientific literature. The marked plasticity of growth in height and weight over time causes problems. Child growth references differ between nations, they tend to quickly become out of date, and raise a number of questions regarding fitting methods, effects caused by selective drop-out, etc. New findings contradict common beliefs about the primary importance of nutritional and health related factors for secular changes in growth. There appears to be a broad age span from mid-childhood to early adolescence that is characterised by a peculiar insusceptibility. Environmental factorsGrowth and body height have always been topics interesting to the public. In particular, the stupendous increase of some 15-19 cm in final adult height during the last 150 years in most European countries (the "secular trend"), the concomitant changes in body and head proportions, the tendency towards early onset of sexual maturation, the changes in the age when final height is being reached, and the very recent trend in body mass index, have generated much scientific literature. The marked plasticity of growth in height and weight over time causes problems. Child growth references differ between nations, they tend to quickly become out of date, and raise a number of questions regarding fitting methods, effects caused by selective drop-out, etc. New findings contradict common beliefs about the primary importance of nutritional and health related factors for secular changes in growth. There appears to be a broad age span from mid-childhood to early adolescence that is characterised by a peculiar insusceptibility. Environmental factors that are known to influence growth during this age span appear to have only little or no impact on final height. Major re- arrangements in height occur at an age when puberty has almost been completed and final height has almost been reached, implying that factors, which drive the secular trend in height, are limited to early childhood and late adolescence.show moreshow less

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Author:Michael Hermanussen, Elena Godina, Frank J. Ruehli, Pawel Blaha, Jesper L. Boldsen, Stef van Buuren, Matthew MacIntyre, Christian Aßmann, Arunava Ghosh, Gian Fra nco de Stefano, Valentin D. Sonkin, Jesús Ángel Fernández Tresguerres Hernández, Christof Meigen, Christiane Scheffler, Cherie L. Geiger, Leslie Sue Lieberman
URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0018442X
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchb.2010.06.001
ISSN:0018-442X
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2010
Year of Completion:2010
Release Date:2017/03/25
Source:Homo : journal of comparative human biology. - ISSN 0018-442X. - 61 (2010), 4, S. 277 - 284
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert