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Arch Dis Child. 1995 Jul;73(1):17-24.

Cross sectional stature and weight reference curves for the UK, 1990.

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  • 1Institute of Child Health, London.


The current reference curves of stature and weight for the UK were first published in 1966 and have been used ever since despite increasing concern that they may not adequately describe the growth of present day British children. Using current data from seven sources new reference curves have been estimated from birth to 20 years for children in 1990. The great majority of the data are nationally representative. The analysis used Cole's LMS method and has produced efficient estimates of the conventional centiles and gives a good fit to the data. These curves differ from the currently used curves at key ages for both stature and weight. In view of the concerns expressed about the current curves and the differences between them and the new curves, it is proposed that the curves presented here should be adopted as the new UK reference curves.

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