Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 4. No. 1, 1999

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1999;4:3-9

Original Article

The Improvement in Growth, Socioeconomic and Health Status in Hong Kong Chinese Infants in the First Two Years of Life - 1967 to 1994

SYM Tam, JPE Karlberg, EYW Kwan, AMC Tsang, FM Baber, LCK Low


The growth, health and socioeconomic status of two cohorts of Hong Kong Chinese infants in the first two years of life were compared. Cohort I included 578 infants born in 1967 and cohort II comprised of 48 infants born in 1994. The growth data of these two longitudinal studies were compared with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) growth reference. An improvement in growth in terms of weight, length and head circumference had been demonstrated in children between these two periods. When compared to the NCHS reference means, growth faltering in mean weight, length and head circumference was observed in cohort I between 6 and 18 months. The changes in mean weight, length and head circumference in Cohort II were close to the NCHS reference mean values. The children at 2 years of age in the 1994 study were 5.4 cm taller than children in the 1967 study. The improved health and socioeconomic status in children in the present study have been paralleled by the improvement in growth over the past 27 years. We conclude that growth faltering in early life is influenced by socioeconomic factors rather than by differences in ethnic background.

Keyword : Chinese; Growth faltering; Health; Socioeconomic

Abstract in Chinese


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