A Longitudinal Study for Developing Growth Charts in a Middle Eastern Child Population Under Two Years Old and Comparison with the World Health Organization Reference Curves
Objective: To develop representative growth reference charts of head circumference, length, and weight for children under two years old in Isfahan, Iran and to compare them with the World Health Organization (WHO) reference curves.
Methods: This population-based, longitudinal study was conducted among 1088 healthy children who were born between 2012 to 2015 in Isfahan, Iran. At birth and during each follow-up time points i.e., 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months, anthropometric indices (weight, length, and head circumference) of children were measured by expert health care providers in the health centers. The LMS method was used to construct the age- and sex-specific growth charts of anthropometric measures.
Results: The study sample comprised 542 boys and 546 girls. The centiles of head circumference, length, and weight of boys were higher than girls in all age groups. The weight patterns of studied children were close to those of the WHO references. Compared with WHO standards, however, our study children of both genders were taller and had bigger head circumference.
Conclusion: There are differences between our reference charts for height and head circumference but lesser difference was observed for weight. The local growth standards could be more precise for assessing growth problems in local and national settings. Due to observed differences between our results with WHO growth standards future studies are warranted for constructing nationwide growth charts.