Association of Height Growth in Puberty with Lung Function: A Longitudinal Study

Osama Mahmoud*, Raquel Granell, Kate Tilling, Cosetta Minelli, J. Garcia-Aymerich, John W Holloway, Adnan Custovic, D. Jarvis, Jonathan Sterne, John Henderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
283 Downloads (Pure)


Rationale: Puberty may influence lung function, but the precise role of pubertal height growth in lung development is unclear. 
Objectives: To examine associations of timing of puberty and peak velocity of pubertal height growth with lung function in adolescence and early-adulthood. 
Methods: Longitudinal analyses of repeat height measurements from age 5-20 years for a British birth cohort with 4,772 males and 4,849 females were conducted to characterise height growth trajectories, and derive pubertal age and peak height velocity using the validated SuperImposition by Translation and Rotation (SITAR) model. Association of these estimates with pre-bronchodilator and post-bronchodilator spirometry measures: FEV1; FVC; FEV1/FVC; FEF25-75 at age 15 and 24 years were investigated using multivariable regression models adjusted for lung function at age 8 years, height and age at time of outcome measurements, and potential confounders. 
Measurements and Main Results: Later pubertal age and greater peak velocity were associated with higher FEV1 and FVC at 24 years in both sexes. A 1-year advanced pubertal age was associated with a 263 ml higher FVC (95% confidence interval: 167, 360) for males (n=567), 100 ml (50, 150) for females (n=990). A 1-cm/year increase in peak velocity was associated with 145 ml (56, 234) and 50 ml (2, 99) increase in FVC for males and females respectively. No associations were found with FEV1/FVC. 
Conclusions: Later onset and greater peak velocity of height growth in puberty are associated with increased FEV1 and FVC in young adults but there was no evidence of dysanapsis of pubertal lung growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1548
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number12
Early online date14 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018


  • Pubertal age
  • Velocity of pubertal height growth
  • Maximal lung function


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