The long-lasting impact of different neglectful environments on growth in children is not well studied. Three groups of children, 3-10 years old, were recruited (n=60): previously institutionalized international adoptees living in stable home environments for at least 2 years (IA; n=15), children with a history of neglect born in the USA (USN; n=17), and controls (n=28). Children underwent physical examination, anthropometry, and collection of serum for growth parameters. Mean height standard deviation scores (SDS) were different (p<0.05). Age-adjusted head circumference (HC) was significantly smaller (p<0.05) in IAs. Insulin growth factor (IGF-1), a marker of growth hormone action, was higher in US neglected children. IGF-1 adjusted for age and weight SDS were different (p<0.05) between control and US neglect groups. The degree of growth failure in height and HC in IAs was more severe than neglected US children. These findings may reflect differences between the impact of chronic and intermittent deprivation on the growth hormone system.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: This publication was supported from grant K23 NIH/NIMH K25MH064111: Neurodevelopmental Biology of Neglected Children (PI: Eve G. Spratt), by the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina’s CTSA, NIH/ NCATS grant number UL1TR000062, and the Medical University of South Carolina UL1RR029882 from the National Center for Research Resources.
- child neglect
- international adoption