A longitudinal study on anthropometric and clinical development of Indian children adopted in Sweden. II. Growth, morbidity and development during two years after arrival in Sweden

Ups J Med Sci. 1992;97(1):93-106. doi: 10.3109/03009739209179286.


One hundred and fourteen consecutively recruited children adopted from India (60% girls) to Sweden were studied during 2 years after arrival, with examinations monthly the first 6 months and thereafter every 3 months. Sixty-two percent were below 1 year of age at arrival. There was a mean increase from -2.2 standard deviation scores (SDS) height/age to -0.7 SDS during the two years, and a similar development for weight/age, with no significant difference between boys and girls. The weight/height remained at around -0.8 throughout the study period. Those who had lowest height/age at arrival had the most marked catch-up, but remained smaller throughout the 2 years. The psychomotor development was initially delayed in nearly 30% of the children, mainly among those stunted and/or with very low weight at arrival. After 2 years the rate was at a level similar to Swedish children. In a sub-sample, birth weight was found to be correlated to subsequent height and weight development. Hepatitis B, salmonella, giardia lamblia, trichuris trichiura, ascaris and hymenolepis nana were still found in a small percentage after 2 years. Other morbidity was at the same level as in Swedish children. Adopted children who are stunted and/or have a very low weight at arrival should be followed up with special care, and infectious diseases found at arrival should be kept in mind for differential diagnosis at subsequent disease episodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoption / ethnology*
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / physiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Protein-Energy Malnutrition / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors