Background: Information on the health and growth status of the population is essential for planning and administering health promotion programs.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of the anthropometric measurements of United Arab Emirates (UAE) children aged 0-18 years, by a multistage stratified random sampling technique based on age and sex. Healthy, full-term children of UAE nationality who did not have any diseases that could affect their growth pattern were included in the study. Children were selected using multistage sampling, using sampling proportional to size methods in 9 geographical areas. Growth charts for various anthropometric measures were created using Cole's LMS statistical package. This package estimates age-specific percentiles with the use of smoothing splines after transformation to normality.
Results: A total of 21,068 children (12,159 females) between the ages of 0 and 18 years were studied. In the present study, we included 8-15% of the population aged 0-18 years. The growth chart for 0-36 months is very similar to the NCHS growth reference chart in terms of both weight for age and length and height for age. The mean (+SD) length/height in children was 49.9 ± 3.2 cm at birth, 75.9 ± 5.7 cm at 12 months, 86.4 ± 4.5 cm at 24 months, 95.1 ± 5.9 cm at 36 months, and 111.1 ± 6.4 cm at 60 months. The height of UAE children in the first 3 years of life, especially at the ages of 2 and 3 years, mirrored those achieved by Brazilian children in the WHO study.
Conclusion: The results of the present study are useful for growth assessment of UAE children.
2008 by Japan Epidemiological Association