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Osteoporosis

Shrinking Explanation

11/29/2004

Question:

I`m a healthy 36 year old female. I have a very active lifestyle. I have always maintain a height of 5`5 1/2``. My last height measurement at my physician`s office was 5`4``. My measurement is always taken with my shoes off. Is this a normal occurance? Is there a need to be concerned?

Answer:

It is not uncommon to lose height as a result of flattening of the disks between the vertebrae or as a result of scoliosis.  Often, people are a little shorter at the end of the day than early in the day.  One and one-half inches seems more than usual for your age.  Does the office use a stadiometer (a measuring device attached to the wall so that error is minimized)?  Try repeating the measurement in the morning, preferably using a stadiometer.  If the difference persists, check with your physician about possible reasons for the change in your height.

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Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati