Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Genetic aspects of the pattern of growth and of short-term variations in growth velocity for height were studied in a sample of 44 MZ and 42 DZ twin pairs from the Wroclaw Longitudinal Twin Study. The data consists of serial measurements of height, taken between 8.5 years of age and adulthood. The intra-pair resemblance of the pattern of attained height was quantified by means of the average Euclidean distance coefficient and the coefficient of shape difference, calculated on the raw height-for-age data. Comparison of these resemblance coefficients between the two types of twins indicated that the growth curves of MZ twins are closer to each other, and more similar in shape, than those of DZ twins. The shape of the growth curve was further characterized by a set of biological parameters, derived from Preece Baines model I (PB) fitted to each subject's serial growth data. Genetic analysis of these parameters, according to the model of Christian, Won Kang and Norton (1974), revealed a strong genetic component in the variance of size at particular milestones in the growth process (height at take-off, at peak velocity and at adulthood), and also in the timing of the growth process (age at take-off and at peak velocity). Height velocity at take-off and peak height velocity were also strongly genetically determined. Finally, short-term variations in growth velocity were analysed on the basis of the profiles of the residuals, obtained by the PB fits to each subject's serial measurements of height. Resemblance coefficients were calculated for the profiles of residuals. The results revealed a significantly greater similarity of profile shapes of the residuals in MZ twins than in DZ twins, strongly suggesting that there is a genetic component in the short-term variations of growth velocity. © 1994 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.