We reviewed the growth characteristics of American boys and girls from published studies, including age at takeoff, age at peak height velocity, peak height velocity, duration of puberty, and the magnitude of the pubertal contribution to adult height. Age at takeoff is highly variable and sex-dependent. The mean takeoff age in children growing at an average rate is ∼11 years in boys and 9 years in girls, and peak height velocity occurs at a mean age of 13.5 years and 11.5 years, respectively, in these children. Whole-year peak height velocity is 9.5 cm/y in boys and 8.3 cm/y in girls, with slight variations in the different studies. The contribution of pubertal growth to final height is ∼30 to 31 cm in boys, accounting for 17% to 18% of the final height, and 27.5 to 29 cm in girls, accounting for 17% of the final height. The magnitude of pubertal growth has a negative correlation with age at takeoff, but no correlation with final height. Age at takeoff, however, correlates highly with pubertal stage, but correlates negatively with duration of puberty.

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