Background: Romania has a 3.3% Rromanes population according to the latest census, but no specific growth charts for this ethnic minority. Current national protocol recommends using the Swiss growth charts developed in 1989. Specific growth charts exist for ethnic subgroups like Turks in Germany and the Netherlands.
Objective and hypotheses: A comparison between a Rromanes and a Romanian group of children regarding weight and height disturbances prevalence according to the Swiss, WHO and IOTF charts.
Method: Case-control study including 75 children of Rromanes ethnicity and 103 age and sex matched children of Romanian ethnicity evaluated in November 2013 in two schools from Mures County, Romania. Variables: age, sex, ethnicity, height SDS, BMI SDS. Short stature was defined as height below −2SDS, and overweight was defined as BMI above 1SDS. Statistical analysis used M.O. Excel and MedCalc v. 12.0 with a level of significance α=0.05.
Results: Mean age (8.5 years for the Rromanes group, respectively, 8.6 years, P=0.45) and sex ratio of the two groups were similar (M: F Rromanes 1.1:1, respectively 1.4:1, P=0.54). The Rromanes children are significantly shorter and thinner (P<0.001). Short stature in the Rromanes group had a prevalence of 29.33% according to Swiss charts and 18.67% according to WHO, whereas in the control group it had 2.91% (Swiss) and 1.94% (WHO). For overweight, the prevalence was higher when using WHO and IOTF criteria for both groups, 32.03% in the Romanian group (WHO) and 13.33% in the Rromanes group.
Conclusion: There are significant differences for weight and height disturbances between the Rromanes and the native population in Romania, regardless of the growth standards used, with the recommendation to construct specific growth charts as existent in other countries.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology