QS Study

Growth is the characteristic of living organisms which includes an increase in size and number of cells leading to human beings to increase height and weight. Infancy is a period of rapidly changing growth rate, from 20 cm/year during the first few months to 10–12 cm/year by 1 year of age.

Factors influencing Growth and Development –

(1) Genetic factor: Genetic factors are very important in relation to growth and stature. Genetic factors are mainly responsible for a certain racial difference in height. It deeply influences the diverse aspects of growth and development i.e. height, weight and structure of the body, color of hair and eye, intelligence, and instincts.

(2) Role of nutrition: The food supply is the most important extrinsic growth factor affecting growth. Diet must be adequate, not only protein but also essential vitamins and minerals and in calories. So that ingested protein is not burnt. The malnutrition has an adverse effect on the structural and functional development of the child.

(3) Hormonal effect:

(i) Growth hormone,

(ii) Sex hormone,

  • The growth spurt that occurs at the time of puberty due to protein anabolic effect of estrogen and androgen.
  • Sex hormones produce an increase in the amplitude of the spikes of growth hormone secretion.
  • Androgen and estrogen cause the fusion of epiphysis to the long bones.

(iii) Thyroid hormone,

(iv) Adrenocortical hormone,

(v) Insulin,

(4) Neural control:

(1) Ant. pituitary gland is essential for growth but this gland is largely controlled by the hypothalamus,

(2) A peripheral nerve, both motor and sensory control of the integrity of the structures, exerts a trophic effect by releasing chemicals (but not Ach).

(5) Season of growth: Height is faster in spring than autumn; weight is faster in autumn than spring.

(6) Exercise: Exercise of skeletal muscle can increase the mass, enlargement of an individual fiber.

(7) Emotional disturbance: Decreased the growth.

(8) Old age: Cellular degeneration and association impairment of various functions.

In addition, loss of subcutaneous fat, loss of elasticity of the skin, osteoporosis, stiffness of joint, narrowing intervertebral disk, degenerative change in CVS including coronary and cerebral atherosclerosis.