Skip to content
left end
left end
right end


Poor growth during childhood 

Failure to thrive 

Pubertal delay 

Late adolescent "hypergrowth"

Many boys will show "failure to thrive" or growth delay, often falling off their birth centile on their growth chart during the first six months of life to settle out at a low growth percentile (usually less than the 10th percentile). This fall-off may be particularly severe if they are unwell with heart failure or significant bacterial infections.

They then tend to grow along one of the bottom lines on the growth chart until late in adolescence, when many boys will suddenly start to grow at a very rapid rate. This has been termed "hypergrowth" by the Bristol team, and can sometimes result in growth of 5-6 inches per year from the age of 17 or 18 until the early 20s.

Despite this rapid growth boys will often not show a significant increase in the amount of food that they can tolerate so that the growth puts a great deal of strain on their body strength and composition and on their heart function. This may in part explain the potential to go back into heart failure during adolescence.