The fact that a child does not increase the size of shoe or clothes with age could be an indicator of a growth disorder known as Stunted Growth syndrome, which occurs when a person has a height substantially below peers or relatives of the same age and sex group.
The prevalence of stunting in Mexico is between 10 and 14 percent, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012. The main treatment is through growth hormone, which is contraindicated in children suffering of diabetes, because the drug increases levels of blood glucose and complicates the health of diabetic patients.
Another risk posed by short stature is that it can trigger other diseases, such as bone dysplasias, congenital heart disease, asthma or diabetes and genetic disorders such as Turner's or Down syndrome, hypothyroidism and growth hormone deficiency.
"Children should always be controlled by the pediatric endocrinologist, besides being measured and weighed at different frequencies according to their age, for early detection if the patient has a problem of stunting," said Maria Dolores Rodriguez Arnao specialist in pediatric endocrinology at Madrid's University General Hospital.
Although growth hormone is the best therapy for short stature and deficiency of this protein, its use is recommended until cartilage stop growing (approximately at 15 years of age), and care in not administering inadequate doses, which would develop hypoglycaemia or tumors.
The simplest way to detect Stunted Growth is through growth charts from the World Health Organization that compare height against age, then the family stature is considered and height established for the country, if the result is two or more deviations below standard the disease is determined. For adult Mexican women, for example, the average height is 155 centimeters, on the contrary of Holland, which is the country with the highest women's world with a measure of 172.
To improve attachment to treatment against diseases such as hormone deficiency growth, recently in Mexico growth hormone was released in a liquid solution created with genetic engineering, which is injected directly without having to reconstite the lyophilized powder medicine as previously.
During the presentation of this new medical alternative, medical pharmaceutical manager at Merck who developed this liquid growth hormone, Juan Omar Toledo Román commented that for parents of children with low stature is frustrating to subject them to painful injections of the growth hormone. However, with the support of technology and research new devices that facilitate this process have been developed.
This new drug may be used in Mexico, in the same manner as used in Spain and other European countries where the medicine is provided by the Ministry of Health, said the Spanish pediatric endocrinologist Maria Dolores Rodriguez.
In Mexico, figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) indicate that in 2010 there was a population of 32.5 million children from 0 to 14 years old that, in relative terms, represent 29 percent of the total population of which at least three in 10 children have Stunted Growth syndrome, some cases are solved by correcting lifestyle habits as healthy eating, sleeping and physical activity, but others require specialized care. In addition, a study by the National Institute of Public Health showed that children under two years from indigenous households have higher prevalence of stunting due to dietary habits.