December 1996

Growth of Hmong Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Family Practice and Community Health (Dr Gjerdingen) and School of Statistics (Ms Ireland and Dr Chaloner), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(12):1295-1298. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170370073012

Objective:  To investigate the growth of a group of young Hmong children.

Design:  In this descriptive, comparative study, length and weight measures of Hmong children were abstracted from medical charts for each previous clinic visit (newborn to most recent visit) where both measures had been recorded, and measures were compared with National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) standard percentiles. Visits occurred from 1988 to 1994.

Participants and Setting:  Participants were 579 Hmong children, ages 0 to 5 years, who were active patients at a family practice residency clinic.

Main Outcome Measures:  Length and weight.

Results:  This group of Hmong children showed lengths similar to those of the NCHS reference population for the first 6 to 12 months of life, after which they lagged behind reference lengths. By the 24th month, median length for Hmong girls and boys was less than the NCHS 25th percentile. The Hmong children's average weight was slightly higher than the NCHS median until about 8 months of age, after which the distributions were similar.

Conclusions:  Compared with children who comprise the NCHS reference population, the Hmong children in this study were slightly heavier in the first several months of life, and shorter thereafter. Therefore, in general, the Hmong children were proportionately heavier than other children of similar height.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:1295-1298