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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 26-38

Endocrine check-up in adolescents and indications for referral: A guide for health care providers


1 Quisisana Hospital, Pediatric and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic , Ferrara, Italy
2 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, Alexandria University Children's Hospital, Alexandria, USA
3 Department of Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, New York, USA
4 Department of Pediatrics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
5 Department of Primary Health Care, AbuNakhla Hospital, Doha, Qatar
6 Department of Hematology, Alamal Hospital, Hamad Medical Center, Doha, Qatar
7 Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology, Paedi Center for Specialized Pediatrics, St George's University Medical School at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, Italy
8 Emeritus Consultant in Pediatrics, Santobono Pausilipon Hospital, Naples, Italy
9 President of Quisisana Hospital, Ferrara, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Vincenzo De Sanctis
Pediatric and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, Quisisana Hospital, 44100 Ferrara
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.145055

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young people between the ages of 11 and 21 years should be seen annually by their pediatricians, since annual checkups can be an important opportunity for health evaluation and anticipatory guidance. Parents of infants and young children are accustomed to regularly visiting a pediatrician for their child's checkups. Unfortunately, when children reach the teen years, these annual checkups may decrease in frequency. In routine check-ups and medical office visits, particular attention should be paid to the possibility of a developmental or endocrine disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent medical complications in adulthood and foster age-appropriate development. Our purpose is to acquaint readers with the concept, based on current scientific understanding, that some endocrine disorders may be associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, increased risk of coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, significant anxiety and lack of self-esteem. Understanding the milestones and developmental stages of adolescence is essential for pediatricians and all other health providers who care for adolescents. Treating adolescents involves knowledge of a variety of medical, social and legal information; in addition, close working relationships must be established within the adolescent's network to create an effective care system. In summary, we underline the importance of a periodic endocrine checkup in adolescents in order to identify endocrine problems early and develop an approach to treatment for those patients who need help during this time. Indications for endocrine referral for professional and other healthcare providers are also included. These lists are clearly not intended to be comprehensive, but will hopefully serve as a guide for specific clinical circumstances.


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