Longitudinal observation of growth of Vietnamese children in Hanoi, Vietnam from birth to 10 years of age

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997 Mar;51(3):164-71. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600377.


Objective: To investigate the physical growth of Vietnamese children on a longitudinal basis and with regard to any secular trend.

Design: A longitudinal study with four birth cohorts: 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984 followed up in their homes from birth to 10 y.

Subjects: Two-hundred twelve children (128 boys and 84 girls) from two (Hai Ba and Hoan Kiem) out of the four districts in Hanoi. MONITORING OF PHYSICAL GROWTH: Weight, height, feeding practices and diseases were recorded monthly from birth to 12 months, three monthly from 12-36 months, six monthly from 36-72 months, and annually thereafter until 10 y of age.

Results: Mean body weight and height of the children at birth was reduced and after the first 3-4 months were comparable to NCHS reference data. Thereafter weight and height fell progressively from the NCHS reference. The most intense period of growth retardation was 15-36 months. The highest proportion of stunting occurred at 21 months (59.4% of males and 58.3% of females). Anthropometric data of Vietnamese children living 1981-1995 in Hanoi were lower than from those living at the same time in Paris but higher than from those living in earlier decades in Vietnam.

Conclusions: The longitudinally-followed children showed growth retardation at birth due to the poor nutritional and health status of their mothers. Children grew well during the first 3-4 months of age, then growth faltering was observed due to inadequate complementary feeding practices. There was a positive secular trend among Vietnamese children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Paris
  • Reference Values
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vietnam / ethnology