[Skip to Navigation]
November 1966

Longitudinal Growth in Thalassemia Major: Relationship to Hemoglobin Level

Author Affiliations

From the Philadelphia Center for Research in Child Growth and the Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Johnston), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (Mr. Hertzog), and the National Institute of Dental Research (Dr. Malina) Philadelphia. Dr. Johnston is now at the Department of Growth and Development, Institute for Child Health, University of London.

Am J Dis Child. 1966;112(5):396-401. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090140068003

IN A PREVIOUS study1 of the growth patterns of children with thalassemia major (Cooley's anemia)2 it was noted that affected individuals suffered alterations of their developmental courses in terms of size attained at any one age, as well as the rate of maturation. Significant size retardations were observed in stature, sitting height, weight, biacromial (shoulder) and bicristal (iliac crest) breadths. In addition, maturation rates, as estimated from skeletal age assessments,3 were also retarded. However, even when this slowed rate of maturation was removed as a factor, size deficiencies were noted in all but bicristal breadth, although these deficiencies were less. Thus it appears that there are retardations of both amount of growth and maturation rate in thalassemia. The size retardations are partially the result of growth failures, partially of slower maturation rates (fast-growing children are almost invariably larger than slow-growers).

In spite of the clear-cut nature of