Adult Height in Patients with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Systematic Review and Metaanalysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • CONTEXT: Treatment for patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) may affect the final height of these patients. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine the distribution of achieved height in patients with classic CAH diagnosed at infancy or early childhood and treated with glucocorticoids. DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science, and Scopus through September 2008; the reference sections of included studies; and expert files. STUDY SELECTION: Eligible studies included patients diagnosed with CAH before age 5 and followed to final height. DATA EXTRACTION: Reviewers working in duplicate independently extracted data on study characteristics and outcomes and determined each study's risk of bias. DATA SYNTHESIS: The sd score (SDS) for final height and corrected height (defined as final height SDS - midparental height SDS) were estimated from each study and pooled using random-effects metaanalysis. The I(2) statistic was used to assess inconsistency in results across studies. RESULTS: We found 35 eligible studies, most of which were retrospective single-cohort studies. The final height SDS achieved by CAH patients was -1.38 (-1.56 to -1.20; I(2) = 90.2%), and the corrected height SDS was -1.03 (-1.20 to -0.86; I(2) = 63.1%). This was not significantly associated with age at diagnosis, gender, type and dose of steroid, and age of onset of puberty. Mineralocorticoid users had a better height outcome in comparison with the nonusers (P = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Evidence derived from observational studies suggests that the final height of CAH patients treated with glucocorticoids is lower than the population norm and is lower than expected given parental height.


  • Muthusamy, Kalpana
  • Elamin, Mohamed B
  • Smushkin, Galina
  • Murad, Mohammad Hassan
  • Lampropulos, Julianna F
  • Elamin, Khalid B
  • Abu Elnour, Nisrin O
  • Gallegos-Orozco, Juan F
  • Fatourechi, Mitra M
  • Agrwal, Neera
  • Lane, Melanie A
  • Albuquerque, Felipe N
  • Erwin, Patricia J
  • Montori, Victor

publication date

  • September 2010