ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 P-D-3-2-856

Anthropometric Evaluation of a Cohort of School-Aged Children: the Need for National Growth References in Romania

Raluca-Monica Pop, Ionela Pascanu & Marian Pop


University of Medicine and Pharmacy Tirgu Mures, Tirgu Mures, Romania


Background: For children above 5 years of age no specific national growth charts are available in our country, the most widely used being the Swiss ones (Prader, 1989). Previous studies have shown significant differences between the various international standards available regarding. The incidence of growth disorders.

Objective and hypotheses: Our aim was to compare the recommended growth reference with a new one based on a national representative sample. Our hypothesis was that the available growth references do not reflect the local reality regarding auxological data.

Method: Type of study: cross-sectional; target population: children 6–15 years of age.

Sample: Random stratified, composed of 1168 children selected from four rural and four urban areas of Mures county. Variables: age, sex, environment, height, weight, arm span, head circumference, and waist. The evaluation was performed by two trained endocrinologists using verified instruments. Exclusion criteria: small for gestational age, cardiac or renal failure, malabsorbtion, and rickets. The study was approved by the Local Ethics Committee and a written consent was obtained for every child. Children refusing the evaluation were excluded from the final analysis. Statistical analysis used M.O. Excel and Graph Pad InStat with a level of significance 0.05. A mean and SDS was computed for every year of age for both sexes.

Results: General charcteristics: environment ratio urban:rural was 1.07; sex ratio boys:girls was 1.01. For every anthropometric parameter evaluated there are significant differences between the available Swiss references and the new computed means and S.D.s (P<0.001), for each age and sex, regardless of other factors. Moreover, using the new means resulted in a much smaller number of pathological results that needed further medical evaluation (2 vs 18.9% respectively).

Conclusion: This study proves the need for constructing national growth references giving the important differences existent between the recommended growth curves and the current national reality reflected by our representative sample.

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