Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Evaluation of a district growth screening programme: the Oxford Growth Study.
  1. M L Ahmed,
  2. A D Allen,
  3. A Sharma,
  4. J A Macfarlane,
  5. D B Dunger
  1. Department of Paediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.


    The Oxford district growth screening programme was established in 1988 as a community based survey of the heights of children at 3 and 4.5 years of age in a district of 550,000 people. The current birthrate is 7500 births/year and over the first three years of the study 20,338 children were screened in the community; the ascertainment ranged from 61-73.9% of the total expected. Mean height SD scores were significantly greater than the British standards; mean SD scores for boys and girls were 0.33 and 0.35 respectively at age 3, and 0.20 and 0.26 at 4.5 years. Altogether 260 (1.3%) of the total cohort were found to have heights < or = -2SD scores. The mean growth velocity of 2742 children measured at 3 and 4.5 years of age was similar to that of the national standards, 7.14 cm/year in boys and 7.21 cm/year in girls. Follow up data was available from 149 children whose heights were confirmed to be < or = -2SD scores. Of these 69 were already under the care of paediatricians. Thus far diagnoses in the 149 have included growth hormone deficiency (n = 2), Turner's syndrome (n = 2), Noonan's syndrome (n = 4), and emotional deprivation (n = 1). Ways in which ascertainment and detection of treatable causes of short stature could be improved are discussed and it is concluded that community growth screening is a useful part of the child health surveillance programme.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Linked Articles