Background: To examine the association of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency with adolescent physical and mental health, as effects of G6PD deficiency on health are rarely reported.
Methods: In a population-representative Chinese birth cohort: ªChildren of 1997º (n = 8,327), we estimated the adjusted associations of G6PD deficiency with growth using generalized estimating equations, with pubertal onset using interval censored regression, with hospitalization using Cox proportional hazards regression and with size, blood pressure, pubertal maturation and mental health using linear regression with multiple imputation and inverse probability weighting.
Results: Among 5,520 screened adolescents (66% follow-up), 4.8% boys and 0.5% girls had G6PD deficiency. G6PD-deficiency was not associated with birth weight-for-gestational age or length/height gain into adolescence, but was associated with lower childhood body mass index (BMI) gain (-0.38 z-score, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.57, -0.20), adjusted for sex and parental education, and later onset of pubic hair development (time ratio = 1.029, 95% CI 1.007, 1.050). G6PD deficiency was not associated with blood pressure, height, BMI or mental health in adolescence, nor with serious infectious morbidity until adolescence.
Conclusions: G6PD deficient adolescents had broadly similar physical and mental health indicators, but transiently lower BMI gain and later pubic hair development, whose long-term implications warrant investigation.