Background: Previous growth references for Norwegian children were based on measurements from the 1970s and 1980s. New reference data, collected through the Bergen Growth Study and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, are presented as LMS values.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional sample of children aged 0-19 years in stratified randomized design measured in 2003-2006 as a part of the Bergen Growth Study (n = 7291) and birth data of children born in 1999-2003 from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (n = 12 576) was used to estimate the new references by the means of the LMS method. Measurement reliability was assessed by test-rest studies.
Results: New references were constructed for length/height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and head circumference. Length/height and weight for children aged 0-4 years were similar to previous Norwegian references, but mean height increased up to a maximum of 3.4 cm in boys and 2.5 cm in girls during the pubertal years. Mean height was similar to (or slightly higher) in comparison with other recent European references. Reliability of the measurements compared well with published estimates.
Conclusion: Because of the observed secular trends in growth, it is advised to use the new references, which have been endorsed by the Norwegian Department of Health.