Growth in Greenland: development of body proportions and menarcheal age in Greenlandic children

Article English OPEN
Becker-Christensen, Finn Gottfried (2012)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v62i3.17565
  • Subject: armspan, Greenland, growth, height, menarcheal age, secular trend, weight

Introduction. No recent investigations of child growth in Greenland are available. Owing to the secular trend, earlier investigations are of limited clinical value. Objectives. For this reason, we studied the most important anthropometric measurements of school children in Maniitsoq, Greenland.Methods. We recorded weight, standing height, sitting height, armspan and menarcheal age. After the exclusion of ten children, who were either suffering from conditions known to influence growth, or for whom some of the anthropometric data were lacking, 299 boys and 290 girls remained in the study. The 589 children were between 5-19 years old. Results. In comparison with a similar study in Maniitsoq undertaken a little more than 30 years ago, 14-year old children in Maniitsoq have increased standing height by 10 cms, or even more. Up to the age of 14, Greenlandic boys followed the Danish curve for standing height, then flattened out to reach a final mean height about 7 cms below the Danish level. The girls’ growth curve followed the Danish one only to the age of 11 years, then flattened out to a final height of 5 cms below the Danish level. A somewhat higher sitting height ratio was recorded for both sexes compared to Danish children. The mean menarcheal age was 12.64 years. Conclusion. During the course of 100 years, menarcheal age in Greenland has diminshed by three years, and is now 3 months below that in Denmark.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2003; 62(3):284-295)Keywords: armspan, Greenland, growth, height, menarcheal age, secular trend, weight
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