Causes of short stature in Pakistani children found at an Endocrine Center

Ali Jawa, Syed Hunain Riaz, Muhammad Zaman Khan Assir, Bahjat Afreen, Amna Riaz, Javed Akram


Background and Objective: Short stature is defined as height below 3rd centile. Causes of short stature can range from familial, endocrine disorders, chronic diseases to chromosomal disorders. Most common cause in literature being idiopathic short stature. Early detection and management of remedial disorders like malnutrition and vitamin D deficiency, Endocrine disorders like growth hormone deficiency & hypothyroidism can lead to attainment of expected height. Pakistani data shows idiopathic short stature as the most common cause of short stature. Our study aimed at detecting causes of short stature in children/adolescents at an Endocrine referral center.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted at WILCARE Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Lahore on 70 well-nourished children/adolescents. The patients had been evaluated clinically, biochemically and radiologically as needed. Biochemical testing included hormonal testing as well to detect endocrine causes. Data was entered and analyzed in SPSS 20.0.

Results: Leading cause of short stature in our population was Growth Hormone (GH) deficiency seen in 48 out of 70 (69%) patients. Second most common endocrine abnormality seen in these patients was Vitamin D deficiency [44 out of 70 patients (63%)]. Primary hypothyroidism; pan-hypopituitarism & adrenal insufficiency were other endocrine causes. The weight for age was below 3rd percentile in 57 (81%) patients, with no association with other major causes.

Conclusion: Growth hormone and Vitamin D deficiency constitute one of the major causes of short stature among well-nourished children with short stature in Pakistan.


How to cite this:Jawa A, Riaz SH, Assir MZK, Afreen B, Riaz A, Akram J. Causes of short stature in Pakistani children found at an Endocrine Center. Pak J Med Sci. 2016;32(6):1321-1325.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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