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1.  Accuracy of self-reported height measurements in parents and its effect on mid-parental target height calculation 
Background
Clinical determination of mid-parental height is an important part of the assessment of a child's growth, however our clinical impression has been that parents cannot be relied upon to accurately report their own heights. Therefore, we conducted this study to assess the accuracy of parental height self-reporting and its effect on calculated mid-parental target height for children presenting to a pediatric endocrinology office.
Methods
All parents bringing their children for an initial evaluation to a pediatric endocrinology clinic over a period of nine months were questioned and then measured by a pediatric endocrinologist. Parents were blinded to the study. Mid-parental target heights, based on reported and actual height were compared.
Results
There were 241 families: 98 fathers and 217 mothers in our study. Mean measured paternal height was 173.2 cm, self reported 174.9 cm (p < 0.0001), partner reported 177 cm (p = 0.0004). Only 50% of fathers and 58% of mothers reported their height within ± 2 cm of their measured height, while 15% of fathers and 12% of mothers were inaccurate by more than 4 cm. Mean measured maternal height was 160.6 cm, self-reported 161.1 cm (NS), partner reported 161.7 cm (NS). Inaccuracy of height self-report had a small but significant effect on the mean MPTH (0.4 cm, p = 0.045). Analysis showed that only 70% of MPTH calculated by reported heights fell within ± 2 cm of MPTH calculated using measured heights, 24% being in ± 2–4 cm range, and 6% were inaccurate by more than 4 cm.
Conclusion
There is a significant difference in paternal measured versus reported heights with an overall trend for fathers to overestimate their own height. A large subset of parents makes a substantial error in their height self-report, which leads to erroneous MPTH. Inaccuracy is even greater when one parent reports the other parent's height. When a child's growth is in question, measured rather than reported parental heights should be obtained.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-7-2
PMCID: PMC1852563  PMID: 17407570
2.  Neurocognitive function in children with compensated hypothyroidism: lack of short term effects on or off thyroxin 
Background
Although thyroxin therapy clearly is beneficial to children with frank hypothyroidism there is little data on the effects of thyroxin in children with compensated or subclinical hypothyroidism. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of thyroxin therapy on cognitive function in children with compensated hypothyroidism. The hypothesis was that thyroxin therapy would change neuropsychological function.
Methods
Eleven patients with a history of sub clinical hypothyroidism entered the study. At the start of the study, six out of the 11 were on thyroxin therapy, while 5 were off therapy. All patients underwent a battery of neuropsychological testing and thyroid function tests at the start of study. Based on the results of thyroid function tests, two of the 5 patients who were off thyroxin were started back on thyroxin. All of the 6 patients who were on thyroxin were taken off thyroxin. All patients then underwent repeat neuropsychological testing and thyroid functions after an average of 91 days.
Results
Thyroxin therapy could not be shown to have an effect on neuropsychological function in this short term study. Our patients had attention problems as compared to the normal population. No significant differences were found between our subjects and normal population standards in verbal processing, visual processing, motor speed/coordination and achievement.
Conclusion
In this small, short term study, thyroxin therapy could not be shown to affect neuropsychological function in children with compensated hypothyroidism. These children may have attention problems but appear to have normal verbal and visual processing, motor speed/coordination and achievement.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-6-2
PMCID: PMC1435757  PMID: 16549027

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