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A dwarf is a person of short stature - under
4' 10" as an adult. More than 200 different conditions can cause dwarfism.
A single type, called achondroplasia, causes about 70 percent of all dwarfism.
Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that affects about 1 in 15,000 to 1 in
40,000 people. It makes your arms and legs short in comparison to your head and
trunk. Other genetic conditions, kidney disease and problems with metabolism or
hormones can also cause short stature.
Dwarfism itself is not a disease. However,
there is a greater risk of some health problems. With proper medical care, most
people with dwarfism have active lives and live as long as other people. Another major cause of dwarfism is growth
hormone deficiency. If left untreated,
growth hormone deficiency will lead to short stature and delayed puberty.
Growth hormone deficiency may occur with
deficiencies of other hormones, including the following:
(control production of thyroid
(controls water balance in the body)
(control production of male and female sex hormones)
hormone or ACTH (controls the adrenal gland and its production of cortisol,
DHEA, and other hormones)