Significant differences in the length and weight measurements of Jordanian infants as compared to the WHO 2006 growth standards

Lina Bataineh, Walid Al-Qerem, Anan Jarab, Fawaz Alasmari, Judith Eberhardt

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In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced new growth standards based on data derived globally from optimally nourished breastfed infants. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of implementing WHO growth standards on the growth patterns of Jordanian infants. In addition, it was to ascertain the necessity of establishing country-specific growth standards and charts tailored to Jordanian infants.

The data of 102,846 infants (50.1% boys, 49.9% girls) aged 0–24 months, from 115 primary healthcare centers across the country were retrieved from a National E-health Program. Weight and length measurements were analyzed, and age- and sex-specific z-scores were calculated relative to the WHO growth standards. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 26. Mann–Whitney U test was performed to determine significant differences between the measurements for boys and girls in terms of age, length, and weight.

Jordanian infants exhibited significantly shorter length-for-age measurements than WHO standards with mean z-scores of −0.56 and −0.38, for boys and girls, respectively. Weight-for-age measurements showed a good fit and were comparable to the WHO growth standards for boys (mean z score = −0.05) and girls (mean z score = 0.04). Notably, Jordanian infants displayed higher weight-for-length measurements, with mean z-scores of 0.51 for boys and 0.47 for girls.

The availability of Jordanian-specific growth standards will improve the accuracy of assessing infant growth and enhance the monitoring and evaluation of their health and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
JournalJournal of Family and Community Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024


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