Longitudinal Growth During Infancy and Childhood in Children From Shanghai: Predictors and Consequences of the Age at Onset of the Childhood Phase of Growth

Pediatr Res. 2002 Mar;51(3):377-85. doi: 10.1203/00006450-200203000-00018.


The age at onset of the childhood phase of growth, normally occurring between 6 and 12 mo, is recognized to be an important time during postnatal human development. The aims of this present work were to identify predictors for the age at onset of the childhood phase of growth. Furthermore, this work aimed to examine the consequences that this timing would have on the subsequent heights of 1720 Shanghai children. The mean age of the infants at onset of the childhood phase of growth was 11.2 mo in boys and 10.7 mo in girls. Compared with their Swedish counterparts, these means occurred 1.3 mo later in boys and 1.4 mo later in girls. Both age at onset of the childhood phase of growth and length at 6 mo of age significantly (p < 0.05) contributed to the attained height from 12 mo of age onward; 1-mo delay in the onset of the childhood phase of growth reduced height at 5 y of age by 0.4 cm in boys and 0.5 cm in girls. The age at onset of the childhood phase of growth was negatively associated (p < 0.001) with mid-parental height, although positively related (p < 0.001) to height at 6 mo of age. There was a distinct body mass index pattern of Chinese children between birth and 6 y of age in comparison with white values. There was a sharp increase in body mass index in Shanghainese during their first 6 mo of life, followed by a gradual decline up to 24 mo. In conclusion, the age at childhood onset is equally important when studying children from Shanghai as it is with their Swedish counterparts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sweden