Leg lengthening surgery linked with future income of pediatric patients

In a study recently presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition, researchers found that in children with limb length discrepancy, leg lengthening surgery could affect their future income.

According to a press release for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Eric J. Peng, a medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, analyzed information from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a longitudinal study following a nationally representative sample of 12,686 people who were aged 14 years to 22 years when they were initially surveyed. The group was subsequently surveyed annually from 1979 to 1994 and every other year from 1994 to 2010.

Findings showed that each extra inch of adult height correlated with an average increase of $1,193 in yearly income using 2010 inflation-adjusted figures. For men, each extra inch from 64 inches to 70 inches was linked with increase of $1,660. Furthermore, each extra inch from 70 inches to 76 inches correlated with an increase of $788. For women, each extra inch from 59 inches to 70 inches was associated with an increase of $1,186.

Peng noted that leg lengthening surgery is usually avoided because it involves multiple surgeries and more potential complications; instead, many patients with limb length differences opt for leg shortening procedures.

“But if, as this study suggests, adult height and income are correlated, limb lengthening procedures may have some overlooked benefits,” Peng stated in the release.




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