Introduction: Danish schoolchildren are said to have grown taller during the last 25 years. Studies on this topic have not been nationwide, however. The aim of this study was to compare the heights of a nationwide sample of Danish schoolchildren in 1986/1987-1996/1997 to a sample in 1971/1972.
Material and methods: The school health officers in 23 municipalities representing a "mini-Denmark" collected from the school health records 3-4 routinely measured heights in children attending school in 1986/1987-1996/1997. The data covered at total of 11,351 height measurements of 3378 children. From these data, standards of height from the age of 6-16 years were calculated.
Results: The schoolchildren's average heights had increased about 1 cm at the start of school, 2-3 cm in girls and 5-6 cm in boys aged 10-15 years and 0.6 cm in girls and 1.6 cm in boys aged 16 years, as compared to growth charts for 1971/1972.
Conclusion: The children in our study were taller than schoolchildren in 1971/1972, and they seemed to have an earlier pubertal height spurt. A growth study of Danish children is needed.