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Treatment of Pediatric Graves' Disease Is Associated with Excessive Weight Gain

Treatment of Pediatric Graves' Disease Is Associated with Excessive Weight Gain

Nicole R. van Veenendaal and Scott A. Rivkees

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,
69:10, October 01, 2011

Treatment of Pediatric Graves' Disease Is Associated with Excessive Weight Gain

Little information is available about changes in body weight and body mass index in children before, during, and after treatment for Graves' disease (GD).

Our objective was to examine changes in body weight after treatment for GD in children as related to clinical features.

The medical records of 43 pediatric patients with GD [35 girls and eight boys, aged 4.0–18.5 (mean 10.9) yr] were examined. Patients were included if clinical data were available for 1 yr before and after the diagnosis of GD.
Main Outcome Measures: Weight, height, body mass index (BMI) z-scores, and thyroid hormone levels were assessed.

Overall, patients presented with an average BMI z-score of −0.02 ± 1.05 that was not different from the normal population (P = 0.921) or their premorbid values (P = 0.07). However, in the subset of patients who were initially overweight or obese in the premorbid state, the BMI decreased significantly during the development of hyperthyroidism (P < 0.05). After initiation of treatment, patients gained significant amounts of weight over the first 6 months leading to elevated BMI z-scores (P < 0.0001), and elevations in BMI persisted in about 25% of the patients.

Excessive weight gain within 6 months of treatment is seen in children treated for GD, and the gain in weight can persist.

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