What is it?

Short stature refers to people, usually children, whose height is below average. Constitutional growth delay is one of the more common causes for short stature which means that the child will develop and grow later in life- after their peers have stopped and usually catch up by adulthood. If one or both parents are short, the child will possibly also be short, with no underlying cause for short stature. Some diseases and conditions may also cause short stature. Endocrine diseases, such as growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease may cause short stature. Other chronic conditions including heart disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, kidney problems, sickle cell anemia may cause short stature.
Genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome, Turner and Williams can also cause short stature. Bone and skeletal diseases, like rickets or achondroplasia may also change stature.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Decrease in height
- Delayed growth and development
- Growth retardation

Signs & symptoms

A short stature is a symptom. It could be associated with other symptoms if it has an underlying medical condition causing it.


Diagnosis of short stature includes measuring the child’s height, weight, and limb length and taking full medical and familial history. Other tests may be done to further evaluate the underlying cause such as X-ray, complete blood work, DNA analysis, and imaging tests.


Short stature treatment depends on the underlying cause. If it's a genetic condition or a constitutional growth delay- there is no need for treatment. Growth hormone deficiency is treated with growth hormone injections, hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone replacement.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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