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Longitudinal observation of growth of Vietnamese children in Hanoi, Vietnam from birth to 10 years of age


Objective: To investigate the physical growth of Vietnamese children on a longitudinal basis and with regard to any secular trend.

Design: A longitudinal study with four birth cohorts: 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984 followed up in their homes from birth to 10 y.

Subjects: Two-hundred twelve children (128 boys and 84 girls) from two (Hai Ba and Hoan Kiem) out of the four districts in Hanoi.

Monitoring of physical growth: Weight, height, feeding practices and diseases were recorded monthly from birth to 12 months, three monthly from 12–36 months, six monthly from 36–72 months, and annually thereafter until 10 y of age.

Results: Mean body weight and height of the children at birth was reduced and after the first 3–4 months were comparable to NCHS reference data. Thereafter weight and height fell progressively from the NCHS reference. The most intense period of growth retardation was 15–36 months. The highest proportion of stunting occurred at 21 months (59.4% of males and 58.3% of females). Anthropometric data of Vietnamese children living 1981–1995 in Hanoi were lower than from those living at the same time in Paris but higher than from those living in earlier decades in Vietnam.

Conclusions: The longitudinally-followed children showed growth retardation at birth due to the poor nutritional and health status of their mothers. Children grew well during the first 3–4 months of age, then growth faltering was observed due to inadequate complementary feeding practices. There was a positive secular trend among Vietnamese children.

Sponsors: National Institute of Nutrition, Hanoi, Vietnam; German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.

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Hop, L., Gross, R., Giay, T. et al. Longitudinal observation of growth of Vietnamese children in Hanoi, Vietnam from birth to 10 years of age. Eur J Clin Nutr 51, 164–171 (1997).

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  • anthropometry
  • children
  • cohort-study
  • height gain
  • physical growth
  • secular trend
  • weight gain

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