Specific centile growth charts for children with Down syndrome (DS) have been produced in many countries and are known to differ from those of normal children. Since growth assessment depends on the growth pattern characteristic for these conditions, disorder-specific charts are desirable for various ethnic groups.
To provide cross-sectional weight, height, and head circumference (HC) references for healthy United Arab Emirates (UAE) children with DS.
A retrospective and cross-sectional growth study of Emirati children with DS, aged 0 to 18 years old, was conducted. Height, weight, and HC were measured in each child. Cole’s LMS statistical method was applied to estimate age-specific percentiles, and measurements were compared to UAE reference values for normal children.
Incidence of DS in the UAE population is 1 in 374 live births (267 in 10 000 live births). We analyzed 1263 growth examinations of 182 children with DS born between 1994 and 2012. The male-to-female ratio was 1.6:1. Height, weight, and HC centile charts were constructed for ages 0 to 13 years. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in DS children aged 10 to 13 years of age was 32% and 19%, respectively. The DS children were significantly shorter and heavier than normal children in the UAE.
Weight, height, and HC growth charts were created for children with DS. These can be used as a reference standard for the UAE children with DS. Overweight and obesity are quite common in DS children ≥10 years of age, as DS children tend to be shorter and heavier than non-DS children.