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J Health Popul Nutr. 2003 Dec;21(4):341-6.

Growth charts of heights and weights of male children and adolescents of Isfahan, Iran.

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Isfahan Endocrine Research Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.


Measurements of height and weight are important data source relating to growth and development, puberty, and nutritional status of children and adolescents. In clinical setting, the charts of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), USA, are used in Iran. A survey identified significant differences in weight- and height-for-age across provinces, between urban and rural children. Although the percentiles derived from data of the national health survey, in 1990-1992, were substantially below the NCHS charts, the growth patterns were parallel to the NCHS percentiles. In 1997, an anthropometric assessment of male students aged 6-18 years was conducted in Isfahan, a centrally-located city in Iran. The goal of the study was to establish the normograms of heights and weights in Isfahan for use in clinical settings. By a random cluster sample survey, 4,364 of 200,000 male students aged 6-18 years were selected from all areas of the city. Trained health staff measured their heights (cm) and weights (kg), and all the percentiles were calculated. A comparison was made with weight and height data collected from other parts of the country on several occasions. Findings showed that the growth percentiles of 6-18-year male students of Isfahan in 1997 were comparable to the NCHS charts. These students were taller and heavier than their fellow-citizens 22 years earlier, their compatriots in rural areas of Isfahan (1997) and Rasht (1989). They were also taller than those who were living in Tehran (1994). A similar study was conducted at the same time on urban Isfahani female students aged 6-18 years. All the percentiles of their height and weight curves were comparable with those of the NCHS charts. Thus, it is appropriate to use the NCHS charts for school-age children and adolescents in Isfahan city. The cause of improvement in growth parameters in Isfahan should be evaluated in future studies.

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