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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The skin disease eczema doesn't increase the risk of being short, researchers report.
"Childhood eczema is not associated with short stature overall, although severe disease with prominent sleep disturbance is associated with higher odds of short stature in early adolescence," the Northwestern University researchers wrote.
Previously, there have been conflicting results in studies looking for a possible link between eczema and height, they said.
The current analysis looked at nine past studies. Those studies included almost 265,000 children and teens and more than 80,000 adults, according to the researchers.
Overall, the analysis showed that eczema was not associated with significant differences in height.
However, a very small number of youngsters with severe eczema who did not get enough sleep appeared to be at increased risk for slower growth. These children had three or fewer nights of sufficient sleep a week, according to the study. And the researchers also found that this link was significant only at ages 10 to 11, which suggests that this growth impairment may be reversible.
"Future studies are warranted to better characterize sleep disturbances and other risk factors and mechanisms of growth impairment in eczema and to determine whether such impairment is reversible," the researchers said.
In the United States, about 11 percent of children and nearly 9 percent of adults have eczema, according to the researchers.
-- Robert Preidt
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