Short stature is a height that is in the third percentile for a person's age, sex, and race.

Short stature is generally broken down into three subgroups:.

  • Familial short stature—parents are short
  • Constitutional delay and development—child is small for age but growing at normal rate, will reach an adult height similar to parents
  • Caused by chronic disease—such as malnutrition, genetic disorders, heart problems, and growth hormone deficiency

Expected Growth (Shadow) and Short Stature
Stunted Growth Child
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Familial and constitutional delay are due to the child's genetic make-up. If both parents are shorter than average, the child will most likely have short stature. The child may also have delayed puberty. This may cause temporary short stature, but normal height will eventually be reached.

Medical conditions that may contribute to short stature, include: