Monitoring head size and growth using the new UK-WHO growth standard

Wright, Charlotte M.; Inskip, Hazel M.; Godfrey, Keith; Williams, Anthony F.; Ong, Ken K.
April 2011
Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal & Neonatal Edition;Apr2011, Vol. 96 Issue 4, p386
Academic Journal
In order to assess the extent to which children in the UK will follow the UK-WHO head circumference standard, the authors used head circumference data from the Southampton Women's Survey (n=3159) and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n=15 208) in children aged 0-36 months, converted into z-scores using both the UK-WHO and UK1990 references. Rapid head growth was defined as crossing upwards through two major centile bands (1.33 SD). The UK-WHO standard identified many more infants with heads above the 98th centile than to the UK1990 reference (UK-WHO: 6-16% of infants at various ages; UK1990: 1-4%). Rapid head growth in the first 6-9 months was also much more common using the UK-WHO standard (UK-WHO: 14.6-15.3%; UK1990: 4.8-5.1%). Practitioners should be aware of these findings to avoid unnecessary referrals.


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