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Height, weight, body mass index and pubertal development references for children of Moroccan origin in The Netherlands



Height, weight, body mass index and pubertal development references for children of Moroccan origin in The Netherlands



Acta Paediatrica 93(6): 817-824



To provide growth and sexual maturation reference data for Moroccan children living in The Netherlands and to compare them with the reference data of children of Dutch origin. Cross-sectional growth and demographic data were collected from 2880 children of Moroccan origin and 14,500 children of Dutch origin living in The Netherlands in the age range 0-20 y. Growth references for length, height, weight, weight-for-height, body mass index (BMI) and head circumference were constructed with the LMS method. Predictive variables for height and BMI were assessed by regression analyses. Reference curves for sexual maturation were estimated by a generalized additive model. Moroccan young adults were on average 9 cm shorter than their Dutch contemporaries. Mean final height was 174.7 cm for males and 161.3 cm for females. Height differences in comparison with Dutch children increase from 2 y onwards. Height SDS was predominantly associated with target height. Compared to Dutch children, maturation started 0.2 and 0.9 y later for girls and boys, respectively. Median age at menarche was 12.9 y, 3.6 mo earlier than in Dutch girls (p = 0.001). BMI of Moroccan children was above that of Dutch children, especially for girls. BMI SDS was associated with birthweight in the age group 0 - < or = 5 y. Moroccan children living in The Netherlands are substantially shorter than Dutch children. Girls have higher weight-for-height and BMI for age. Median age at menarche occurs earlier. Given these differences, separate growth charts for the Moroccan children are useful.

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Accession: 004183632

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15244233

DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2004.tb03024.x



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