Entries in Bone Growth (2)


Pelvis Continues to Widen as You Age; May Result in Larger Waistline

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- Most people reach their peak in height by the age of 20, leading to the assumption that skeletal growth also stops around the same time.  But a new study shows that although you might not be getting taller, your pelvis does continue to grow well past your 20s.

Examining CT scans from 246 patients aged between 20 and 79, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that those in the oldest age group had pelvises that, on average, were almost an inch wider than those belonging to the younger patients.

The findings also show that this increase in pelvis width may also attribute to the expanding waistlines commonly seen as people get older.

"I think it's a fairly common human experience that people find themselves to be wider at the age of 40 or 60 then they were at 20," said Laurence E. Dahners, MD, senior author of the study and a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics in the UNC School of Medicine.  "Until recently we assumed that this was caused simply by an increase in body fat.  Our findings suggest that pelvic growth may contribute to people becoming wider and having a larger waist size as they get older, whether or not they also have an increase in body fat."

The study found that a one-inch increase in pelvic diameter may result in a three-inch increase to one's waist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Solving Short: Genes, HGH and Surgery to Change Height

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Though height is genetically predetermined, scientists still don't fully understand how our genes control growth.  According to recent research published Wednesday in the journal Nature, genes can still be identified for only 10 percent of the variation in human height.  Furthermore, surgical manipulation of the skeleton is the only way to boost height in adults, but endocrinologists have other ways of addressing height deficiencies in children, notes Dr. Joel Hirschhorn, a lead author on the recent Nature study and a paediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital of Boston.

The recent research, which drew on the genomes of more than 180,000 individuals, identified a hundred additional locations where changes in the genetic code could lead to differences in height. At this point in time, children who are identified as having a growth problem are most often treated with medicines containing human growth hormone. Once the natural growing process is complete, human growth hormone cannot be used and surgery becomes the only option. With intense pain, months of grueling recovery and physical therapy, and the risk of complications and decreased function, this option is truly only for those determined to be taller.

The increasing popularity in cosmetic lengthening, and its hefty price tag, has spawned many less-than-qualified surgical centers throughout the world that can often leave patients much worse off than when they started, warns Dr. Dror Paley, an expert in limb lengthening and reconstruction at St. Mary's Medical Center.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio