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September 1990

Comparative Heights of Mothers and Fathers Whose Children Are Short

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(9):995-997. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150330055020

• This study was designed to investigate and compare the heights of mothers and fathers whose children had various forms of short stature. The heights of parents of a total of 341 children were grouped by their children's diagnoses into three groups: group 1, genetic short stature; group 2, a constitutional delay of growth; and group 3, normal "short" stature (children in the fifth to 25th percentile). Analysis indicated that the data were gaussian in distribution and that no significant skewing or kurtosis was noted in any group for either maternal or paternal heights. The mean height of mothers in group 1 (mean±SD, 157.7±6.8 cm) was less than (F=14.36) the mean height of mothers in either group 2 (mean±SD, 161.1 ±6.9 cm) or group 3 (mean±SD, 162.5±6.6 cm). In contrast, the mean heights of fathers were not significantly different (F=2.13) among the three groups (mean±SD, 173.3±7.5, 173.8±8.3, and 176.0±9.6 cm). Thus, a significant shift to greater shortness in mothers' heights than in fathers' heights for the parents of children with genetic short stature was noted. Such a differential shortness was not detected in the parents of children with a constitutional delay of growth.

(AJDC. 1990;144:995-997)