Background: Growth standards are important tools in the monitoring of growth. In 2006 the World Health Organization (WHO) published new growth charts based on infants and young children living in optimal conditions in six countries and proposed that these and the NCHS data on North American children be accepted as standards for children in all countries throughout the world. Studies comparing country specific standards with WHO growth charts are therefore necessary.
Objective and hypotheses: To compare the WHO growth charts from birth to 18 years of age with the Turkish reference curves.
Method: The national growth data on infants and young children were based on 36330 anthropometric measurements (19523 boys, 16807 girls) of 2391 boys and 2102 girls attending a Well-Child Clinic. For children 6 to 18 years, height and weight measurements (6007 boys, 5657 girls) of 1100 boys and 1020 girls were obtained from healthy school children. The LMS method was used for the analyses. The studies were longitudinal, but the data were analysed cross-sectionally. Mean z scores for height and BMI by age and sex were calculated and graphically compared with the WHO curves.
Results: From birth to 3 years of age, the national group of children was on average 0.5 standard deviations (SD) taller compared to the WHO data. This difference continued to show a similar pattern during childhood and the local children were 0.3 SD taller during puberty up to 18 years of age compared with the WHO growth standards. Mean z score values for BMI were similar to the WHO standards during childhood except for puberty at which time our group had higher values.
Conclusion: Our charts showed that population differences in growth may exist and become more apparent during the pubertal years. Differences from the WHO growth charts beyond a certain magnitude would favour the use of country-specific standards.
01 Oct 2015 - 03 Oct 2015