Objective To establish Down syndrome (DS)-specific growth charts for Hong Kong Chinese children.
Design and setting Growth data were collected from (1) members of the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association (cross-sectional); (2) DS children attending special schools or living in residential homes (cross-sectional); and (3) the paediatric departments of seven public hospitals (retrospective).
Patients 425 DS children (57% males and 43% females) born in 1977–2000, yielding 4987 observations.
Main outcome measures The LMS method was used to construct reference centile curves of weight, height, body mass index (BMI) from birth until 14 years and head circumference for the first 4 years.
Results The median birth length was 49.8 cm and height at age 14 was 146.7 cm for DS boys. Corresponding figures for DS girls were 49.5 and 142.1 cm. The median birth weight was 3.0 kg for DS boys and 2.9 kg for DS girls. At age 14, 26% DS boys (BMI >22.6 kg/m2) and 12% DS girls (BMI >23.3 kg/m2) were overweight. The median head circumference at birth was 32.8 cm for boys and 32.0 cm for girls.
Conclusions Chinese DS children had a shorter stature, lower weight and tendency to be overweight than local non-DS children. Their growth patterns differed from those of Chinese DS children in Taiwan, and DS children in the USA and Sweden. Growth retardation was most salient during the first year of life.
- Down Syndrome
- Chinese children
- growth charts
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