Multilevel Longitudinal Analysis of Sex Differences in Height Gain and Growth Rate Changes in Japanese School-Aged Children
Access this Article
Search this Article
<b>Background: </b>Determining standard pubertal growth patterns using longitudinal anthropometric measures is important in growth assessment. We used an appropriate repeated-measurements method to identify height growth patterns in Japanese school-aged girls and boys.<BR><b>Methods: </b>The participants were children born during the period from 1991 through 1999 who had entered the first grade of elementary school in the Enzan district in Koshu City, Japan. This study was part of the Project Koshu cohort study. Height was measured annually in April from the first grade of elementary school (age, 6–7 years) to the third grade of junior middle school (age, 14–15 years). Height gain and growth rate trajectories in boys and girls were constructed using multilevel analysis.<BR><b>Results: </b>In total, 1984 children (1036 boys and 948 girls) were included in this study. Height in boys and girls was similar at age 6.5 to 9.5 years. Girls subsequently grew faster and were taller than boys at age 10.5 to 11.5 years. Starting at age 12.5 years, male height caught up and exceeded female height. Height gain trajectories showed that annual height gain among girls increased slowly and peaked during age 9.5 to 11.5 years, while male height gains declined slightly at first and peaked at age 11.5 to 12.5 years. Sex differences in height gains were significant during the period from age 7.5 to 14.5 years (<i>P</i> < 0.0001). Growth rate and height gain trajectories were similar between sexes.<BR><b>Conclusions: </b>Sex differences in growth trajectory were significant, and female height gain peaked approximately 2 years earlier than male height gain.
- Journal of Epidemiology
Journal of Epidemiology 23(4), 275-279, 2013-07-01
Japan Epidemiological Association