Medical Information

A number of medical conditions are known to have additional height as one of the symptoms. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, but does cover the main syndromes.
A high percentage of medical students, when studying a particular illness or disorder will begin to display or think that they display, some of the symptoms. As their studies move on the symptoms clear and make way for a new set. In other words don’t start to imagine the worst.
A syndrome is a set of symptoms, which when observed together, enable a physician to make a diagnosis and to decide on a treatment regime. Just because you may display one of the symptoms associated with a particular condition, it does not necessarily mean that you have the syndrome. For example, myopia (short-sightedness) is sometimes associated with Marfan syndrome, but nearly always in conjunction with a number of other symptoms. You can be myopic, without having Marfan syndrome.
Simply put: don’t panic! Most of us are tall for a very simple reason and not because of a height-related syndrome. If after reading the article you feel that you would like more information, please contact the appropriate organisation who will be able to put you in touch with a suitable specialist.

 

Marfan Syndrome

Marfan syndrome was first described in 1896 by one Dr Marfan. It is no respecter of age, sex, race, or ethnic background; anyone might be affected. Although usually described as an inherited disorder of the connective tissue, i.e. muscles and tendons, about 25% of cases occur by spontaneous mutation.

Acromegaly/Gigantism

Growth hormone is secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It controls the rate of growth of the individual, as well as determining the timing of sexual maturity. It certain cases, usually due to a micro-tumour, the gland continues to secrete growth hormone for much longer, and in greater quantities, than it should.

Klinefelter Syndrome

Abnormalities of the sex chromosomes occur in about 1.5 per 1000 births, meaning that about 1200 children are born each year with one of these conditions. Turners syndrome, in which all or part of the X chromosome is missing, affects only girls, and is easily recognised, with short stature being an obvious symptom.

Sotos Syndrome

Sotos is one of the multitude of syndromes, in which height can be one of the symptoms. Its cause is thought to be genetic but, as the chromosome responsible has not been identified, there is no laboratory test to confirm the diagnosis.