Pediatric Endocrinology of NY
Chhavi Agarwal, MD
Pediatric Endocrinologist located in Scarsdale, NY
Renowned pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Chhavi Agarwal of Pediatric Endocrinology of New York, with offices in both Scarsdale and the Flushing, New York, brings over two decades of experience to diagnosing and treating children with short stature.
Short Stature Q & A
What is defined as short stature in children?
The term short stature refers to a child whose height falls below 3% of other children of the same age and gender in the general population. Projected out to adult height, this is defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as less than 5'3" tall for males and less than 4'11" for females.
What are the causes of short stature?
Short stature has a variety of causes. While some are associated with significant health problems, most are not. In fact, the overwhelming majority of children who are diagnosed with short stature don’t have any underlying medical conditions. In these cases, the cause is usually either:
- Genetics. The child’s growth rate is normal, but one or both parents are short.
- Constitutional delay. The most common cause of short stature, this is merely a delay in the onset of puberty. These children eventually catch up with their peers to reach a normal adult height and sexual development.
- Idiopathic short stature. There is no diagnosable cause; these children are healthy.
What medical conditions can cause short stature in children?
Less often, short stature is due to a serious underlying medical problem. In these instances, other symptoms are typically present as well. Among the most common health conditions that can result in short stature, are:
- Chronic conditions of nearly any major organ
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Hormone deficiencies, such as a deficiency in the production of human growth hormone (HGH)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Cushing syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- Russell-Silver syndrome
- Bone disorders
In addition, certain medications, such as inhaled steroids used for asthma, can contribute to short stature.
Should I take my child for an evaluation by a growth specialist?
Whether your child’s short stature is completely healthy or associated with an underlying problem, a complete evaluation from a growth specialist, such as board certified pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Chhavi Agarwal, is the only way to know for sure. Dr. Agarwal conducts a complete investigation of your child’s medical history, and a thorough physical examination, that may entail blood and other testing to make an accurate diagnosis. If you’re at all concerned, make an evaluation early. The opportunity for treatment of short stature ends when your child’s growth plates fuse after puberty.
Our Insurance Policy
We accept most insurance plans, please contact our office to discuss the particulars of your benefit package and our current network participation status. We will work with you and your carrier to provide you the best care.