Background: Growth reference values are useful in paediatric health care as a health indicator. Secular changes in height for age values are also known to affect the timing of puberty and brain weight. Different populations may be at different stages of this secular trend. It is, therefore, necessary to periodically update the growth reference values for each population to identify these changes. The aim of this study was to update the growth reference values for Turkish infants and young children.
Methods: Background information and height/length, weight and head circumference measurements on a sample of 2391 boys and 2102 girls were obtained from Well Child Clinic Records. The LMS method was used for the analyses. The percentage of exclusive breastfeeding was 62% at 4 months and 26.6% at 6 months. The continuation rate of breastfeeding at 12 months was 62.5%.
Results: Comparison with previous Turkish data showed an increase in height of 0.9 cm for boys and 1.1 cm for girls at age 5 years. The increase in weight was 0.220 kg in girls, while a decrease of 0.160 kg was noted in boys. Comparison with the 2000 US and Swedish values indicated that population differences may exist in pre-pubertal years.
Conclusion: This study provides an enhanced instrument to evaluate the growth of Turkish infants and young children.