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Growth and sex differentiation of children born small for gestational age

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2009;52(2):142-151.
Published online February 15, 2009.
Growth and sex differentiation of children born small for gestational age
Se Young Kim
Department of Pediatrics, Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital, Daejin Medical Center
부당경량아에서의 성장과 성 발달
분당제생병원 소아청소년과
Se Young Kim, Email: odajulia@dmc.or.kr
The incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) births is frequent, accounting for 2.3% to 8% of all live births. Several childhood and adult diseases are related to early postnatal growth and birth size, and 10% of children born SGA may have a short stature throughout postnatal life. Additionally, they may have abnormal growth hormone (GH)-insulin like growth factor axis, HPA axis, and gonadal function. Permanent changes are detrimental in an environment of nutritional abundance, and predispose SGA children to an array of diseases in adolescence and adulthood. Such changes may also cause premature pubarche, adrenarche, and precocious puberty. The varying results from clinical studies necessitate more prospective case control studies. Reproductive tract abnormalities and reproductive dysfunction are related to SGA births. GH treatment is required for SGA infants who do not experience catch-up growth.
Key Words: Small for gestational age, Growth, Growth hormone, Premature pubarche, Precocious puberty, Adrenarche, Reproductive function

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