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A simple calculation of the target height
  1. Paula van Dommelen1,
  2. Yvonne Schönbeck2,
  3. Stef van Buuren1,3
  1. 1Department of Life Style, TNO, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Child Health, TNO, Leiden, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paula van Dommelen, Department of Life Style, TNO, PO Box 2215, 2301 CE Leiden, The Netherlands; paula.vandommelen{at}

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An important goal of growth monitoring in childhood is to identify genetic disorders and diseases. For early detection one requires adequate growth references, frequent measures of height and weight of children and evidence-based referral criteria.

A guideline for short stature was published recently.1 It has been shown that target height (TH) adds greatly to the predictive ability of this guideline.

TH is a term used for the expected height of a child given the heights of the parents. The calculation of the TH has changed over the years. In 1886, Galton introduced the mid-parental height (MPH) as the average of the heights of the two parents, that is, MPH=(FH+MH)/2, where FH and MH denote the heights of the father and mother, respectively.2 In 1970, Tanner defined an adjustment for sex on the MPH.3 In the previous …

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  • Funding This study is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Welfare and Sports.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Review Board of Leiden University Medical Centre.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.