The investigators evaluated the validity of self-assessment of sexual maturity status (SMS) in children with Crohn's disease (CD).
The findings of the study were published in the August issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.
A total of 100 children with CD (34 girls), aged 8 to 18 years, from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were enrolled in the study.
Each carried out self-assessment of SMS. This was compared with an independent assessment by one well-trained pediatrician, using drawings and written descriptions of Tanner stages of breast, genital, and pubic hair development.
Overall, subjects with CD (mean age, 14.3 years) had delayed growth status, based on height-for-age (HAZ) and weight-for-age Z scores (WAZ).
| Excellent agreement between child and physician assessment of SMS.
| Journal of Pediatrics |
Boys were found to be more growth delayed (HAZ, -0.90; WAZ, -0.75) than girls (HAZ, -0.45; WAZ, -0.20).
There was excellent agreement between child and physician assessment of SMS (a 79% to 88% agreement).
However, when not in agreement, children tended to overestimate their SMS.
The team discovered that boys who overestimated (n = 8) had significantly higher weight and BMI status than boys who assessed accurately.
Dr Joan I. Schall, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, concluded on behalf of her group, "Self-assessment of SMS was a reliable and valid method in children with CD. It is useful in screening for maturational delay in children with chronic disease."