Swedish population-based longitudinal reference values from birth to 18 years of age for height, weight and head circumference

Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(7):739-54. doi: 10.1080/08035250213216.


This study aimed to update growth reference values for height, weight and head circumference in order to reflect the changes in body size in the Swedish population during the past two decades. The data came from a large longitudinal growth study on 3650 full-term healthy Swedish children who were born between 1973 and 1975. All of these 1801 girls and 1849 boys had longitudinal data for height and weight from birth to final height. Comparison with previous Swedish growth reference values based on children born between 1955 and 1958 revealed that there have been secular changes in body size. For instance, at 18 y of age, the updated height and weight reference values are 180.4 cm for males and 167.7 cm for females, i.e. 1.9 cm taller and 5.7 kg heavier for males and 2.3 cm taller and 3.4 kg heavier for females compared with the previous reference values.

Conclusion: These new growth reference values provide current national standards for growth monitoring and evaluation since the year 2000.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Body Height*
  • Body Weight*
  • Cephalometry*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Puberty / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sweden