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Physical Stress May Result in Growth Suppression and Pubertal Delay in Working Boys

Author(s): Muhammad Irfan | Ghazala Kaukab Raja | Shahnaz Murtaza | Rubina Mansoor | Mazhar Qayyum | Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi

Journal: Iranian Journal of Medical Hypotheses & Ideas
ISSN 1735-9104

Volume: 5;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Physical Stress | Child Labor | Delayed Puberty | Growth Suppression | Hypogonadism

Child labor is an immense problem of Pakistan. As labor boys stay under persistent/severe physical stress, we hypothesized, that it may result in higher levels of cortisol and exhaust glycogen, fats and proteins. Depletion of fats may result in lower body weight, and insufficient leptin concentrations to excite gonadotropic releasing hormone (GnRH) at the normal time of puberty in working boys. Moreover, lower testosterone levels in working boys, due to delayed puberty, may result in suppression of somatotropic axis. The Short/weak stature and failure of the onset of puberty may cause poor performance, the inferiority complex and psychological disorders. Therefore, present study is designed to find out timing of onset of the puberty in working boys. The study will include 10-18 years of working boys as a case and non-working boys of same age groups as control. Working boys will be labor boys while the control group will not be involved in physical work. A questionnaire will be used to record socioeconomic status, major diseases, nutritional status, type, and duration of work and family history of puberty, growth and obesity of subjects. Boys with familial history of pubertal delay, obesity, malnutrition, mental disorders, hematological diseases and severe/chronic diseases will be excluded. The intensity of physical working stress will be determined by a grading scale. The anthropometric data including height, weight, body mass index (BMI), bone age, tests of adiposity will be collected from subjects. The stages of pubertal onset will be determined by Tanner staging. Serum concentrations of hormones of growth, thyroid, adrenal, brain-gut and gonadal axis will be determined in nonworking and working boys. Physical and hormonal tests of the working boys and comparison with non-working boys are sufficient to test the idea.

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