Short stature is often familial. Adult height is influenced by polygenic inheritance and has a normal distribution. However, any significant illness in childhood will have an impact on the rate of growth. Most conditions that result in short stature can usually be identified from coexistent features (see Table 2.5). Possible exceptions include selective failure of growth hormone secretion, chronic renal disease, intestinal malabsorption and, in girls. Turner's syndrome if the neck webbing is overlooked. Reduction in height is a normal process of ageing. It is accentuated by severe kyphosis, multiple compression fractures of the spine or exlensive lumbar disc disease.
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