Corresponding Author

Shimaa Metwally Abdou Nutritional Chemistry Department, National Nutrition Institute, Cairo, 11562, Egypt. dr_shmaa@yahoo.com +20 1099515999


Stunting represents a worldwide nutritional problem, which has many negative effects on child health and development. This study aimed to investigate the levels of insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1), total ghrelin and insulin resistance, as well as certain micronutrients affecting children growth and skeletal maturity in nutritionally stunted Egyptian children. Stunted children were selected to have height for age Z score (HAZ) < -2 standard deviation, whereas, control children were selected to have HAZ > -2. Stunted children were further classified according to weight for age Z score into normal and underweight groups. All stunted children exhibited significantly lower serum levels of IGF-1, Ca, and Mg compared to normal control children. Additionally, both normal weight and underweight groups showed insignificantly higher total ghrelin levels than the control values. Only stunted underweight children showed significantly lower serum Zn levels compared to control children. Meanwhile, no significant differences were observed in serum glucose and insulin levels, pancreatic beta cell function and insulin resistance between different study groups. In conclusion, these findings highlight the importance of early detection of abnormalities in growth hormone / IGF-1 axis and micronutrients levels in hope that appropriate intervention strategies could improve their status to obtain full growth potential in nutritionally stunted Egyptian children.