Dwarfism is a condition involving a body height more than 20% shorter than the average height of the population. People who suffer from dwarfism are known as dwarfs.
Causes of dwarfism
Dwarfism may have different causes, the most common of which are genetic. Achondroplasia or hypochondroplasia are among the most common (around 1 case in every 15 to 30,000 births). In addition to genetic causes, irreversible short stature can also be caused by various diseases (affecting the kidney or heart etc.).
Symptoms of dwarfism
Dwarfism may have many forms depending on its origin. Affected people may have:
- globally disproportionate stature with short limbs often due to bone and cartilage growth problems;
- or proportionate (harmonious) dwarfism often due to pituitary failure or nutritional deficiency.
Treatment of dwarfism
There is no treatment for genetic dwarfism whereas physiological causes can be treated (growth hormone, treatment of the disease responsible, etc.)
Domestic animals can also suffer from dwarfism. © Tobias Akerboom, Wikimedia, CC by 2.0