Familial Height Adjustment

Child height is strongly correlated with parental height, so many short children have short parents. Short children from tall families are easier to detect if their height is adjusted for midparent height. Tanner published a chart to do perform this adjustment in 1970, but it proved cumbersome to use, and currently the target height method is preferred. This method uses midparent height to estimate the child's likely height centile as an adult and compares it with the child's current centile.

However, the target height approach is also cumbersome and relies on the heights of both parents, one of which may not be available. A familial height chart has been described that compares the child's current height centile with that of his or her mother and/or father and/or sibling(s). The advantages of the chart are that it uses all the available familial height information (a sibling is as close genetically as a parent), it avoids all calculations (apart from reading the centiles off the height chart), and it adjusts for the secular trend in height by using an older height reference for the parents.

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