Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Are at Increased Risk for Slowed Growth and Short Stature in Early Childhood

Clinical Pediatrics, Ahead of Print.
Our objective was to evaluate the risk of short stature in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the effect of ADHD and its treatment on height-for-age z score (HAZ) and body mass index–for-age z score (BMIZ) in early childhood. We evaluated 7603 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort 2011 and found that children with ADHD had lower HAZ at second and fourth grades and lower BMIZ at K to fourth grade. Children with ADHD at fourth grade had almost 4 times higher odds of short stature. Children with ADHD at K grew at a slower rate from K to fourth grade (difference in ΔHAZ = 0.23, 95% confidence interval = 0.04-0.42) and had less gain in BMI (difference in ΔBMIZ = 0.16, 95% confidence interval = 0.03-0.29). Longer duration of ADHD medication use was associated with lower HAZ at fourth grade and slower growth from K to fourth grade. These data may assist pediatricians in considering risk of poor growth in children with ADHD.

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