Reference growth curves for Greek infants and preschool children, aged 0–6.7 years
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To construct weight, height, head circumference and body mass index (BMI) percentile growth curves for Greek children 0–6.7 years old and to compare the BMI means and upper limits with both available Greek national and international data.
Data were obtained from six cross-sectional and one longitudinal study, which included single, term healthy neonates, recruited at birth and followed until 6.7 years. A total of 12,619 measurements were performed on 7034 boys and girls from five counties in Greece in 1988–2005. The per gender-age percentile estimations were based on Box-Cox power transformations to normalize the data. BMI values were compared with available national data and with the CDC 2000 Growth Charts, the Euro-Growth Study, WHO 2006 Growth Standards and IOTF BMI values.
The mean birth weight was 3.5 kg in boys and 3.3 kg in girls, and all mean levels of body measurements were lower in girls than boys. The per gender-age mean BMI values were closer to the data of the Euro-Growth Study and significantly different from previous national and available international data. The 85th percentile of BMI was found significantly higher than all the international data.
These growth curves could serve as an additional reference for Greece. That the 85th BMI percentile of this study was higher than all available data should be seriously addressed. Therefore, the growth patterns of preschool children from the present study could serve as approximate indicative values and assist in assessing the health level of the Greek child population.
KeywordsInfant Children Preschool Growth and development Body weights and measures Body mass index
Compliance with ethical standards
Research involving human participants
Ethical approval: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethics Committee of the University of Crete & Harokopio University and with 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants (their parents) included in the study.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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