BACKGROUND. Growth failure is a recognized complication of pediatric-onset Crohn's disease, but there are few data on final adult height.

OBJECTIVE. Our purpose with this work was to determine adult height and the clinical features that influence long-term growth impairment.

METHODS. We retrospectively studied 123 patients with Crohn's disease (65 male and 58 female) who had reached adult height. All of the case subjects were diagnosed before age 16.0 years. Heights were converted to SD scores and univariate analysis performed of factors postulated to influence final height, that is, interval from onset of symptoms to diagnosis, prepubertal onset of symptoms, gender, jejunal disease present at diagnosis, systemic steroid therapy, intestinal surgery, and midparental height SD scores. Significant univariate factors were additional analyzed in regression models.

RESULTS. Mean height deficit at diagnosis was −0.50 SD scores, which improved to −0.29 SD scores at final height. Mean final height compared with target height, calculated from parental height, was −2.4 cm (range: −20.0 to 9.0 cm). Nineteen percent of the case subjects achieved a final height >8.0 cm below target height. The length of the interval between symptom onset and diagnosis correlated negatively with height SD scores at diagnosis. Height SD scores at diagnosis were related to final height SD scores, independent of midparental height. The presence of jejunal disease was negatively related to final height.

CONCLUSIONS. Mean final adult height showed a modest deficit compared with target height, but in one fifth of patients, final height was significantly less than target height. Earlier diagnosis and improved treatment of jejunal disease would be likely to improve final height.

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