Research from Australia in this week’s issue of THE LANCET suggests that tall girls given oestrogen therapy in adolescence to reduce adult height are more likely to experience later fertility problems than the general population.
Treatment with oestrogen to reduce the adult height of tall girls has been available since the 1950s. No randomised trials have examined the effect of oestrogen therapy. Such therapy alters the development of the long bones and has been reported to reduce adult height by 2–10 cm.
In a retrospective cohort study, historical data from paediatric endocrinologists and self-referrals identified around 1400 women who were assessed for oestrogen therapy from 1959 onwards. 780 of these women completed a survey about their fertility in later life, half of whom actually received therapy (the treatment group); the other half were assessed but not given hormone treatment (the control group).
Richard Lane | alfa
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