Waist-to-Height Gain and Triiodothyronine Concentrations in a Cohort of Socially Vulnerable Short-Stature Women: A Four-Year Follow-Up Study

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Short stature that results from undernourishment during perinatal period is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood, particularly in poor populations. The present study investigated changes on anthropometric and metabolic parameters of socially vulnerable women with short stature.


A prospective study with 48 women (19-45 years) who were mothers of undernourished children was conducted. Twenty-five of them were short (height ≤150 cm), and 23 were not short, to serve as a control (height >159 cm). Biochemical, anthropometric and dietary intake data were collected, before and after 4 years of follow-up. A mixed within-between analysis of covariance was used to assess the interaction between ‘group' and ‘time'.


Waist-to-height ratio increased only in the short stature group, with significant interaction (+0.03 ± 0.03 in short group vs. +0.01 ± 0.03 in control; p for interaction = 0.04). The short stature group showed a significant decrease in the plasma triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations, without significant interaction (-0.16 ± 0.23 ng/ml in short group vs. -0.04 ± 0.29 ng/ml in control; p for interaction = 0.20).


Women of short stature presented an increase in waist-to-height ratio, with a simultaneous decrease in total plasma T3. These alterations may lead them to increased risk of comorbidities.

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