Background: There are currently no specific growth charts for use in Nigerian children over the age of 5 years. Health workers rely on charts developed by the Center for Disease Control for children in USA (2000CDC US) or the UK 1990 growth charts for British children. It is unknown whether Nigerian children grow to the same height or at the same tempo as American or British children.
Objective and hypotheses: To compare the growth of the Nigerian child to the 2000CDC US and UK 1990 growth references
Method: Healthy Nigerian children (5-16years) were recruited from local schools in Gombe (Northern Nigeria), Abakaliki (Eastern Nigeria) and Ile-Ife (Western Nigeria). Height and weight were measured. The results were expressed as SD scores relative to the 2000CDC US and the UK 1990 growth reference data. The timing of pubertal growth spurt (PGS) was estimated by calculating the difference between the annual stature medians at each age.
Results: 2,856 Children (1246 girls and 1612 boys) were measured. Overall, girls had a similar height to both UK and American girls with the mean height being only 0.04 SD and 0.008SD below the 2000CDC US and the 1990 UK references respectively. The timing of PGS occurred later in the Nigerian girl between 12-13yrs. The girls were lighter with mean BMI being 0.8SD less than both UK and US reference data. Nigerian boys were shorter with mean height being 0.4 SD and 0.5 SD below the UK and US references respectively but with estimated timing of PGS between age 13 and 14 years. They were also lighter with mean BMI being 0.7 SD and 0.9SD less than both the UK and US references respectively.
Conclusion: There are important differences in the growth pattern of the Nigerian child when compared to US and UK growth references.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology