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Achondroplasia - Associated Health Problems - 2

Page history last edited by Chelsea Johnson 13 years, 11 months ago


Health Complications and Risks of Achondroplasia


Beyond physical defects, people with achondroplasia also have various health problems that are caused by their physical structure. These problems may include, but are not limited to...

  • Developmental difficulties: Many babies with achondroplasia have a lower back hump that the baby grows out of as it begins to walk. Some may also have limited muscle tone, leading to delayed development.  [1]


A baby with a lower back hump, also called a gibbus.


  • Respiration Problems: Approximately 8% of babies with achondroplasia die due to apnea, a condition in which the baby stops breathing for extended periods of time. Though many people without achondroplasia experience apnea, babies with achondroplasia suffer greater complications due to a compression of the brain stem, which aids in regulating respiration. [3] Even those that do not die of their respiration difficulties experience breathing problems throughout the rest of their life, especially while asleep. [4]


  • Obesity: Obesity is one of the biggest problem people with achondroplasia have. Not only are obesity rates (determined by weight to height ratio) higher in those with achrondroplasia, the impacts of the obesity are much more dangerous for those with achondroplasia versus those without. [5] In order to avoid the complications of obesity, people with achondroplasia must follow a careful diet and exercise program, though contact sports are not recommended for those with achondroplasia.




Achondroplasia: Overview > Genetic Basis > Characteristics > Associated Health Problems > Treatment > Living with Dwarfism


Page created by: Jessica Hall and Chelsea Johnson



  1. "Achondroplasia." Medicine Net. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2009. .
  2. http://www.mps1disease.com/~/media/Images/MPSI/ContentHCP/mps_hc_gibbus_deformity_arrow.jpg
  3. "Achondroplasia." GeneTests . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2009. .
  4. Waters, K A , F Everett, D Sillence, and E Fagan. "Breathing Abnormalities in Sleep in Achondroplasia." Archives of Disease in Childhood. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2009. .
  5. "Achondroplasia." GeneTests . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2009. .

Comments (1)

Kathryn Snyder said

at 9:40 am on Nov 5, 2009

I had no idea that there were so many medical problems that people with achondroplasia had to face. The obesity problem among the dwarf community was surprising, as most people think of dwarves as petite people.

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