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Horm Res. 2008;70(5):273-7. doi: 10.1159/000157873. Epub 2008 Sep 30.

Longitudinal growth during the first years of life: what is normal?

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


The anthropometric data of a longitudinal growth study on healthy infants, followed from birth until the age of 4 years and performed during 1995-1999 in The Netherlands, were used to analyze the general growth patterns in terms of height, weight and head circumference, based on z-scores, during the first 4 years of life. The well-known phenomenon where each infant or child tends to decelerate or accelerate its growth velocity depending on its starting position on the reference curve is obvious in this study too. This phenomenon, known as the regression to the mean, is a strong phenomenon especially during the first year. Regression to the mean is calculated for the different age groups as factor. With the given alpha, it is possible to estimate the individual expectation of growth.

Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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