Introduction

Growth and development are unique to children and young people. Statural growth and pubertal development, just like any other aspect of growth and development, are complex processes requiring a healthy balance of both internal (metabolic) and external (psychosocial) factors in order to proceed normally. Disruption of such development may consequently occur due to a multitude of factors, many of which can be exemplified in chronic rheumatic disease.

In order to recognize and subsequently address potential issues related to statural growth and pubertal development in young people with chronic rheumatic diseases, one needs to be familiar with the factors and processes that are required for normal growth and development. This chapter first reviews normal statural growth and pubertal development. How these may be adversely impacted by chronic rheumatic disease is then discussed. This is followed by an outline to guide initial assessment of young people with chronic rheumatic disease with associated short stature and/or delayed puberty. Finally, general principles for managing these complications are discussed.

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