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Comparison of Postural Features and Muscle Strength between Children with Idiopathic Short Stature and Healthy Peers in Relation to Physical Exercise

  • Autori: Brusa, Jessica; Maggio, Maria Cristina; Zangla, Daniele; Giustino, Valerio; Thomas, Ewan; Palma, Romilda; Messina, Giuseppe; Palma, Antonio; Corsello, Giovanni; Bellafiore, Marianna
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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Previous research has reported that children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) showed functional and cognitive impairments. The purpose of this study was to compare muscle strength and body posture between children with ISS treated with growth hormone (GH) and healthy peers (healthy children, HC), and to analyze whether these parameters were affected by physical exercise. Eighteen children for the ISS group (mean age: 10.96 ± 1.68 years) and 26 children for the HC group (mean age: 10.19 ± 1.06 years) were recruited for the study. All participants performed the following assessments: handgrip and Sargent test for the muscle strength evaluation; baropodometric and stabilometric test for the posturographic measures. Data were analyzed with analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) using height and weight as covariate. Groups were then stratified into active and inactive and independent t-tests were used to determine differences between variables. Significance level was set to p < 0.05. Our results showed a significantly lower performance for both hands (p < 0.01) and a greater difference of plantar loading distribution between feet in the ISS compared to the HC groups (p < 0.01). In relation to physical exercise, the HC active group showed the highest handgrip strength values for both hands among the analyzed groups and, moreover, handgrip strength of both ISS active and inactive groups was significantly lower than corresponding CH peers for both hands. Although ISS and HC inactive groups reported an unequal plantar loading distribution between feet (p < 0.05), this asymmetry was not present in both ISS and HC active groups. We assume that GH therapy integrated with physical exercise in young patients with ISS could be suggested to increase muscle strength and body posture improving their quality of life.