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Results


Data for length or height, weight and BMI for the Guatemalan sample are given in Tables 1-3, respectively. Median lengths or heights by age for the Guatemalan and Mexican American populations are plotted together with the 5th, 50th and 95th percentile values for the USA reference population in Figures 1 and 2 for children 0-36 mo and subjects 11-25 y old, respectively. At 15 days, the median length of Guatemalan males is at ~ the 16th percentile of the NCHS/WHO reference, declining to less than the 5th percentile by nine months of age and to less than the 3rd percentile by 36 mot Values remain at the same relative position at ages 3-7 y of age (not shown). Mexican American boys, on the other hand, are at the 50th percentile at 9 mo (measures at younger ages not available), maintaining this level throughout childhood.

TABLE 2 Weight (kg) of Guatemalan children, adolescents and young adults

 

Males

Females

Age (Y.)

Median

x

SD

Median

x

SD

0.04'

3.4

3.4

0.5

3.2

3.3

0.5

O.25

5.7

5.6

0.8

5.2

5.2

0.7

0.5

7.0

7.0

1.0

6.5

6.5

0.9

0.75

7.7

7.6

1.0

7.2

7.1

1.0

1.0

8.1

8.1

1.1

7.5

7.5

1.0

1.5

8.9

9.0

1.1

8.5

8.4

1.0

2.0

10.0

10.0

1.1

9.4

9.4

1.1

2.5

11.1

11.1

1.2

10.5

10.5

1.3

3.0

12.1

12.1

1.3

11.4

11.5

1.4

3.5

13.0

13.1

1.4

12.4

12.5

1.4

4.0

13.9

13.9

1.4

13.1

13.3

1.5

5.0

15.4

15.4

1.6

14.7

14.9

1.6

6.0

16.9

16.9

1.7

16.2

16.2

1.7

7.0

18.7

18.8

1.8

17.9

18.2

2.0

11.0-11.9

29.0

28.9

3.5

30.4

31.0

5.9

12.0-12.9

31.0

31.5

4.6

34.1

33.8

5.3

13.0-13.9

34.4

35.1

5.5

39.6

40.1

6.4

14.0-14.9

39.1

38.6

6.0

41.6

41.1

6.2

15.0-15.9

46.2

45.7

7.1

45.2

46.0

5.6

16.0-16.9

50.0

49.4

6.1

48.0

48.5

6.1

17.0-17.9

52.2

51.7

5.6

48.2

49.5

6.8

18.0-24.9

55.4

56.3

6.5

49.2

50.4

7.9

Measured at 15 days of life.

FIGURE 1 Median length in males 0.5-36 mo old:rural Guatemalas and Mexican-Americans compared with reference population [United States National Center for Health Statistics/World Health Organization (NCHS/WHO) 1983]

FIGURE 2 Median height in males 11-25 y old: rural Guatemalans and Mexican-American compared with USA reference population (Frisancho 1990)

TABLE 3 Body mass index (kg/m) of Guatemalan children, adolescents and young adults

 

Males

Females

Age (y)

Median

x

SD

Median

x

SD

Birth

13.4

13.4

1.4

13.3

13.3

1.5

0.25

16.6

16.5

1.8

16.2

16.1

1.7

0.5

17.4

17.3

1.8

17.0

17.0

1.6

0.75

17.0

17.1

1.6

16.7

16.8

1.5

1.0

16.7

16.7

1.5

16.4

16.4

1.4

1.5

16.4

16.3

1.3

16.0

16.0

1.3

2.0

16.3

16.4

1.1

16.0

16.0

1.2

2.5

16.3

16.3

1.2

16.0

16.1

1.4

3.0

16.2

16.3

1.2

15.9

16.0

1.2

3.5

16.4

16.5

1.2

16.1

16.2

1.3

4.0

16.2

16.3

1.1

15.8

16.0

1.2

5.0

15.7

15.8

1.1

15.5

15.6

1.2

6.0

15.5

15.5

1.0

15.2

15.3

1.0

7.0

15.6

15.5

1.0

15.2

15.3

1.0

11.0-11.9

16.2

16.4

1.4

16.5

16.7

1.8

12.0-12.9

16.6

16.7

1.3

17.2

17.2

1.8

13.0-13.9

17.2

17.1

1.2

18.8

18.9

2.3

14.0-14.9

17.6

17.6

1.4

19.3

19.2

2.5

15.0-15.9

18.5

18.8

1.5

20.2

20.5

1.7

16.0-16.9

19.3

19.4

1.5

21.6

21.7

2.4

17.0-17.9

20.2

20.1

1.6

21.8

22.1

2.6

18.0-24.9

20.9

21.3

2.1

21.8

22.3

3.2

Measured at 15 days of life.

During adolescence, the median height of Guatemalan males remains at below the fifth percentile of the USA reference population. The median height of Mexican-American males is still near the 50th percentile during early adolescence but declines to around the 25th percentile in adulthood. Patterns are similar for females at all ages and for both the Guatemalan and Mexican-American populations.

Absolute differences in length among the populations are shown in Figure 3 for 0- to 36-mo-old males and females. Differences between Guatemalan and the NCHS reference (noted as Guat-NCHS in the legend) are 2.2 cm at 15 days, ~6.5 and 8 cm by 12 mo and ~ 10 and 11.5 cm by 36 mo for males and females, respectively. Differences between the Mexican-American population and the NCHS/WHO reference (noted as Mex-NCHS) are negligible throughout young childhood. At 11 y of age, the difference between the Guatemalan and USA samples (Guat-USA) is at ~12.5 and 13.5 cm for males and females, respectively, only slightly greater than it was at 3 y Figure 4). For males, differences increase between ages 13 and 15, but are at ~ 13 cm again by adulthood for both sexes. Differences in height during adolescence and adulthood between Mexican American and USA medians (Mex-USA) suggest a different pattern (Figure 4). For both males and females, differences are minimal at 11 to 13 y of age, but increase thereafter so that at adulthood Mexican-Americans are ~6 cm shorter.

FIGURE 3 Differences in median length by age and sex for 0.5-to 36-mo olds.

FIGURE 4 Differences in median height by age and sex for 11-to 25-y olds.

Patterns of growth for other anthropometric dimensions also have been examined. In terms of sitting height and bone diameters, patterns generally follow those observed for length and height. However, for bicristal breadth, there is substantial catch-up in late adolescence, particularly in females. On the whole, rural Guatemalans have smaller limb circumferences and reduced skinfold thicknesses than the reference populations, particularly in males. Median BMI values by age are shown for adolescent and adult Mexican-Americans and Guatemalans relative to USA percentiles in Figure 5 and 6 for males and females, respectively. The Guatemalan population, particularly in the case of males, is the leanest. Guatemalan males have values that are between the 50th and 5th percentiles. Older Guatemalan female adolescents and young women, on the other hand, have BMI values which are near the 50th percentile of the US population. Mexican-Americans of both sexes have values which are at or slightly above the 50th percentile.

FIGURE 5 Median body mass index in males: rural Guatemalans and Mexican-Americans compared with USA reference population (Frisancho 1990).

FIGURE 6 Median body mass index in females: rural Guatemalans and Mexican-Americans compared with USA reference population (Frisancho (1990).




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