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Keywords:

  • fragile X syndrome;
  • growth in stature;
  • pedigree analysis;
  • longitudinal model;
  • CGG repeat size

Abstract

The effect of fragile X on growth in stature was estimated in individuals aged 5–20 years from 50 fragile X families. The multivariate normal model for pedigree analysis was applied to the mixed longitudinal data, which varied with regard to intervals between the measurements and their number in individual subjects, totalling 349 measurement data points from fragile X families, and 292 data points from unrelated normal subjects. The results of genetic and regression analysis showed that, in fragile X boys and girls, total pubertal height gain is impaired, whereas the rate of growth during the preadolescent period is increased, compared with the growth rate of nonfragile X subjects. Moreover, the growth parameters in fragile X males were found to be correlated with the size of CGG trinucleotide expansion. The hypothesis of premature activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary gonadal axis is postulated as the cause of growth impairment in fragile X boys and girls, which should be verified by data on the timing of pubertal stages, hormone levels, and bone maturation. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.